Women protest withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Women protest withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Women protest withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Thousands of people took to the streets of Turkey’s largest cities to protest against the country’s withdrawal from an international treaty to combat violence against women.

Protests were planned again over the weekend as an appeal against the withdrawal from opposition parties was rejected by the Council of State on June 30.

Amid a heavy police presence, more than 10,000 women, demonstrated in Istanbul, Ankara and there were smaller protests in the Aegean province of Izmir and elsewhere across the country.

“We are not giving up on the Istanbul Convention,” read a large purple banner held by activists.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the withdrawal in March, saying Turkey would use local laws to protect women’s rights and defended his move on July 1.

“Our battle did not start with the Istanbul Convention and it will not end with our withdrawal from the treaty,” he said.

Turkey was the first country to sign the Council of Europe treaty during a summit held in Istanbul, and it is the first to pull out 10 years later.

“We will continue our struggle,” Canan Güllü, president of the Federation of Turkish Women’s Associations, said, adding that Turkey is shooting itself in the foot with this decision.