The Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe is the first convention to combat violence against women and include sexual orientation and gender identity as categories of non-discrimination that Turkey is party to. Article 90 of the Republic of Turkey’s Constitution states that “international agreements duly put into effect have the force of law”. The text below shows the impediments put in place by the ruling government of the Justice and Development Party for the participation of independent NGOs in the monitoring mechanisms of the Convention, a violation of the convention.
Source: “İstanbul Sözleşmesi- Grevio Seçimi: Bu Seçim Yok Hükmündedir!” (“Istanbul Convention- GREVIO Election: This Election should not count!” kaosGL.org, 23 December 2014, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=18314
The Istanbul Convention Turkey Monitoring Platform has declared that it will not recognize the GREVIO Election that excludes Women and LGBTI organizations.
The election for the anti-violence expert action group the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) which will monitor the implementation of the convention by state parties took place on 22 December 2014 at a meeting of the Ministry of the Family and Social Policies.
The Istanbul Convention Turkey Monitoring Platform stated that the government cannot prevent violence through associations that they have founded themselves and through the exclusion of Women and LGBTI organizations. The full statement is as follows:
The Government cannot prevent violence through its own associations!
The Ministry of the Family and Social Policies has decided that the 3 NGOs in the 9 person committee to designate candidates for the Istanbul convention monitoring group GREVIO be KADEM, AK-DER and KASAD-D [NGOs close to the ruling AKP government]. The “election” of the 3 NGOs took place after independent Women and LGBTI organizations left the meeting in response to the Ministry’s complete refusal to assess their objections to methodologies.
The Istanbul Convention, which Turkey signed first and accepted without any reservations thanks to the efforts of independent women’s organizations, came into effect on 1 August 2014. The Istanbul Convention is the most up-to-date and comprehensive text that clearly expresses the root cause of violence against women to be inequality between men and women and that aims to eradicate violence based on gender. Let us not forget the strong allegations that claim efforts by the Minister of the Family and Social Policies, Ayşenur İslam, to withdraw Turkey’s signature from the convention.