Council of State rejects bid to halt Istanbul Convention withdrawal
Turkey’s Council of State has rejected a request for the continuation of Turkey’s stay in the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty designed to eradicate violence against women, and the annulment of the president’s decision to leave the agreement despite an avalanche of opposition from women and feminist groups.
As the 10th Chamber of the Council of State made its decision on June 29 by a vote of three to two, the Istanbul Convention will no longer be in force in the country as of July 1.
It was emphasized by the three members who signed the resolution that there was no hesitation about the authority of the president. The termination of the convention by the presidential decision was based on Article 104 of the Constitution, said the ruling.
A presidential decree published on March 20 announced the withdrawal from the Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Several NGOs and opposition parties, including the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the İYİ (Good) Party, and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), opened lawsuits against the decision.
The Turkish Presidency has sent its defense to the 10th Chamber of the Council of State upon the lawsuits filed for the annulment of a decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.
In the defense, it was demanded that the lawsuits be dismissed, arguing that they were “unjustified and devoid of legal basis” and noted that in Article 80 of the Istanbul Convention it was emphasized that any of the parties may terminate the contract for itself at any time by a notification to the secretary-general of the Council of Europe.
Women’s rights groups in Turkey believe the exit will spell disaster for many women in the country, which suffers high rates of femicide and widespread violence against women.