Turkish women's right group protests withdrawal from Istanbul Convention in massive banner

The We Will Stop Femicides Platform, an activist group where female volunteers fight against gender-based violence and impunity, has placed a banner that reads “I do not want to die” on a building in Istanbul's Zincirlikyu district, in a form of protest against the government's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.

Duvar English

The rights group “We Will Stop Femicides Platform” (“Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu” in Turkish) has placed a massive banner on a building in Istanbul's Zincirlikuyu district as a form of protest against the government's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

The banner which reads “I do not want to die” has a complaint petition printed on it. The petition has been submitted by a woman to the Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Chief, in which she says the assaulter has been violating the restraining order and keeps threatening her.

The activist group called on the government to reverse its decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, saying in a tweet that the banner is just one of the several examples showing women's “struggle for life.”

“We will implement the Istanbul Convention so that women do not have to submit a petition several times to stay alive,” the group tweeted.

The group also released a separate statement with regards to its banner, saying: “Thousands of women have been filing petition like the owner of this petition. They are struggling at police stations and courthouses to stay alive and to live away from violence.”

The group listed the names of several women who have numerous times applied to the authorities with a demand for protection.

“Their complaint letters have been overlooked and they have been killed by men for whom they had filed a complaint. If these complaint petitions had been taken notice of, if the Istanbul Convention had been implemented, hundreds of women could have been alive today,” the group said.

Women have been for days now protesting the government over its decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty against domestic abuse.

Turkey was one of the first signatories and women say their safety has been jeopardized by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s move against the European treaty.

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