Turkey should produce own documents on women, family: Erdoğan
Turkey should no longer rely on translated documents on issues concerning women and families as it can produce its own blueprints in line with its social and cultural norms, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, amid debates on whether the government should withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.
“I am of the opinion that we are capable of producing local documents enriching human dignity with a focus on the family and in line with our social fabric. We should shape our own lens instead of translated documents. Instead of the Copenhagen Criteria, we’ll continue our path with Ankara criteria,” Erdoğan said late Aug. 13 on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of the founding of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, referring to criteria required for EU membership.
Erdoğan was indirectly referring to an ongoing debate over the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty on combatting violence against women.
Women’s rights groups in Turkey have been protesting in defense of the international treaty that obliges signatory member states to fight violence against women since a government official early in July suggested Turkey, the first country to ratify the treaty, could pull out of the convention.
The groups say the government is not adequately fighting against this epidemic.
Many women’s associations, including conservative ones with close links to the AKP, have stood against the idea of withdrawing from the convention, while mostly male-dominated conservative groups and religious sects have pressed on the government to withdraw from the convention. They argue that the convention encourages divorces and subverts familial values. Several of the 235 women murdered in Turkey this year so far were by men from whom they wanted to seek a divorce.
Conservative groups also say the landmark treaty protects LGBTI rights, which they claim corrupt Turkish cultural and social norms.
Erdoğan said that the debate was fueled on purpose and that the government will not take step back in its commitment to end violence against the women.
He underlined that the AKP’s ideological line was based on a continuous support to the concept of family and it can never tolerate any attempt to weaken the fundamental construct of the Turkish society.
“Nobody can judge our sensitivity on the family,” he added.
Erdoğan slams columnist from Akit daily
In his speech, Erdoğan also indirectly slammed Abdurrahman Dilipak, a columnist for the ultra-conservative daily Akit who criticized and insulted AKP women associations for the support they lent to the Istanbul Convention.
“I condemn this columnist on behalf of all women and women branches [of the AKP],” he said.
Many AKP women branches have already filed a complaint about the columnist over his obscene insults against women.