Turkish Interior Ministry launches probe into mayor over poster defending Istanbul Convention

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced that the ministry had launched an investigation into Bilecik Mayor Semih Şahin, from the main opposition CHP, over a poster which the municipality placed on billboards throughout the province. The poster reads “Istanbul Convention keeps alive” and "Whom does the Istanbul Convention protect from?"

Duvar English

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said early on March 26 that an investigation was launched into the mayor of the northwestern province of Bilecik over a poster placed in various billboards that defends the Istanbul Convention.

The poster titled “Whom does the Istanbul Convention protect from?” has a logo that reads “Istanbul Convention keeps alive” and has the picture of Mayor Semih Şahin, from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), printed on it.

“It [the treaty] protects from everyone who is inclined towards violence: The violence of your husband, your former husband or your partner; the violence of your brother, father or other family members; the violence and harrasment of a boss, teacher at school, police at the police station, or unknown men on the street, in the market or public transportation; in short, the violence of the people who are at our nearest,” the poster reads.

In the early hours of March 20, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan abruptly announced that Turkey withdrew from the convention which it had been the first nation to sign.

The convention seeks to prevent violence against women, including domestic violence, and bring an end to legal impunity for perpetrators.

But conservatives in Erdoğan’s Islamist-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) say the text, which stresses gender equality and forbids discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, undermines family structures and encourages violence.