Turkish women held protests in cities across the country to denounce the country’s withdrawal from an international treaty designated to combat gender violence.
Turkey on Thursday formally pulled out from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as Istanbul Convention, under a presidential decree issued in March, reports Xinhua news agency.
In the country’s biggest city Istanbul, women protesters gathered on the bustling Istiklal Avenue, carrying banners and chanting slogans “We will not be silenced, we will not fear, we will not bow down”.
The police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, preventing them from marching through the avenue and proceeding toward the iconic Taksim square.
During the rallies in several other big cities, including the capital of Ankara and Izmir, women demonstrators called on the government to retrieve the decision and strictly apply the convention’s articles to curb the growing violence against women in the country.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country’s domestic regulations are sufficient to combat violence against women.
Erdogan on Thursday announced a new action plan for combating violence against women.
“Just like our fight against violence toward women did not start with the Istanbul Convention, it will not end by withdrawing from this convention,” he said.