A pro-government women’s rights organization has voiced support to the Istanbul Convention, which aims to combat violence against women and from which the Turkish government seeks to withdraw.
Women and Democracy Association (KADEM), of which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar is the deputy chair, released a statement on the convention, explaining its articles in detail.
“The Istanbul Convention is the first international document that provides protection to women against all types of violence within a legal framework,” KADEM said.
Introduced in 2011 and ratified in parliament in 2012, the Istanbul Convention specifically targets violence against women and obliges ratifying countries to prevent gender-based crime, provide adequate protection and services for victims and assure the prosecution of perpetrators.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Islamists are seeking to withdraw from Istanbul Convention because they believe it is damaging family values and challenging conservative understanding of gender identities.
They also claim that the convention encourages homosexuality and imposes an ideology that results in the loss of gender in the relationships between men and women.
Women’s rights groups, however, point to the increasing number of violence against women and femicide cases, saying that it would be a grave mistake to withdraw from the convention.
KADEM, which has been releasing controversial statements on women’s rights despite being a women’s organization, prompted surprise with its support to the Istanbul Convention.
In its statement, KADEM responded to widely-known false facts about the convention, especially on it including “LGBT propaganda,” saying that it doesn’t promote homosexuality.
“To claim that this convention causes legitimization of homosexual orientations shows ill-intention to say the least. The phrase ‘sexual orientation’ is included only on the fourth article and doesn’t include any imposition,” it said.
Shortly after this statement, however, KADEM said that LGBT movements threaten “continuation of generations.”
“We don’t accept being mentioned alongside homosexual movements,” it said on Aug. 2, while also deeming LGBT movements “immoral.”
It also shared one of its previous statements dated June 29, which was “against the global LGBT imposition.”