Government working on ‘alternative’ to Istanbul Convention
Gizem KARAKIŞ – ANKARA
The Turkish government is working on an alternative to the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty to fight violence against women, in the wake of debates and protests over Turkey’s potential withdrawal from it.
The Justice Ministry, the Family and Social Policies Ministry and legal experts from the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) are working on the alternative arrangements.
The changes sought are mostly centered on Article 4 of the treaty, which obligates signatory member states to safeguard basic rights and equality regardless of one’s sexual orientation and gender while also fight discrimination against them.
“We will continue our struggle within the understanding of zero tolerance towards violence against women. But there can be reservations registered in the articles open to public debate,” AKP officials reportedly said, adding that they will also provide explanations to why they object to the items of the article.
The reports over the plans for alternatives come after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this week said Turkey must produce its own documents on issues pertaining to women and families.
The AKP will work on two “road maps, which lay out what course to take in the event that Turkey leaves the key convention.”
Those road maps, drawn by the ministries and legal experts from the ruling party, are expected to be discussed at an AKP Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Aug. 18.
Final touch on the alternatives will be put at Erdoğan’s directive.