By Omer Olcay, Sefa Sahin and Buket Guven
Turkish officials on Saturday expressed support for the decision to withdraw from a European treaty on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Vice President Fuat Oktay took to social media to welcome the move.
“We are determined to lead our sincere struggle to raise the reputation and dignity of Turkish women to the levels they deserve in society, preserving our traditional social fabric,” Oktay wrote on Twitter. “It is not necessary to seek the remedy outside, to imitate others. The solution lies in our traditions and customs, in our essence.
Home Secretary Suleyman Soylu also issued a statement.
“The existence or absence of international conventions does not reduce or increase our responsibilities to prevent any form of crime that our citizens will face and our work as a requirement of this responsibility,” Soylu wrote.
He noted that every sovereign state has the right to leave the party as well as to become party to international treaties and agreements.
Communications director Fahrettin Altun also supported the decision.
“Our government will work with all its might to end violence against women and to further strengthen the place of women in social life,” he said in a statement.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday signed a decree withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention which was signed in 2011, according to the country’s Official Gazette.
Turkey was the first country to ratify the European convention adopted in Istanbul in 2011.
The convention aims to prevent violence against women, including domestic violence, and to end the legal impunity of perpetrators.
While the convention has been applied in 34 countries including Turkey, some countries – Ukraine, UK, Czechia, Slovakia, Moldova, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Hungary, Armenia and Bulgaria – signed the document but have not yet ratified.
The EU signed the convention on June 13, 2017, unlike Russia and Azerbaijan, members of the Council of Europe.
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