ATHENS — Writer, journalist and human rights activist Asli Erdogan described Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention for combatting violence against women as a "very dangerous step" in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Wednesday.
"Turkey is on a very negative path," she said and added:
"Especially in these conditions of the pandemic, the Istanbul Convention is particularly imperative, as violence spreads. Now is the time to improve the laws that protect women. But what is Turkey doing? Exactly the opposite. It legitimises this idea by withdrawing from the Convention. In essence, it says that it is legal to use violence against women, children, gays."
Ankara's decision has shocked and angered the international community, but she said that the Turkish president has shown his intentions for months. "He had long ago stated that the terminology used by the Convention – references to gays, for example – is an insult to the institution of the Turkish family. There was then a great wave of reaction from women's movements, including AKP women, which 'braked' this policy. But recently he said in public that Turkish society needs to be protected, so I think it was clear that something like this was going to happen."