Turkish Women Call for the Government to Resign Ahead of International Women’s Day
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Turkish women have gathered in Instabul’s Kadikoy district this week to call on the government to resign due to a rise in femicides, suspicious deaths, and violence against women in the country.
The Turkish government has been guilty in recent years of neglecting women in the country, most notably by formally withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention in 2021. The convention is the Council of Europe’s human rights treaty which opposes and combats violence against women and domestic violence.
Turkey was the first country to sign the treaty back in 2011, and there are currently 45 nations still attached to it. Protest groups in Turkey have said that this withdrawal from the nation was a major setback for women in the country.
Many believe that this withdrawal is a key factor in the rise in violence against women in Turkey. According to the We Will Stop Femicides Platform, 334 women were murdered by men in 2022, while a further 245 women were found dead under suspicious circumstances.
“The Politics of Death”
Speaking at the protest, the General Secretary of the We Will Stop Femicides Platform, Fidan Ataselim, was in a determined mood. She said:
“Just yesterday a woman was killed by the man she wanted to divorce. This is the result of withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention. It is the politics of death. We will show everyone how important democracy is. We will send this government. It is enough.
Fidan also attacked the government for how they had dealt with the recent earthquakes which have caused devastating loss of life in the country. The protestors held a minute’s silence for all the victims of the earthquakes as part of their demonstration. Fidan said:
“It is possible to prevent the destructiveness of the earthquake. When our people tried to make their voices heard in the earthquake, the government restricted the internet. We will build cities that we will not burn in, that we will not die in.”
As protests intensified, the police presence in the area became more and more noticeable. By the end of the protest, officers were even stripping people of any signs and banners that called for the government to step down.
“Massacres of Women are Increasing”
At the end of the protest, the following statement was released to the press. It read:
“Massacres of women are increasing day by day, thousands of women condemned to live below the poverty and hunger line are left to starve due to increasing bills prices and living expenses. Violence against LGBTI+s is fueled by the state, women’s unemployment is increasing, war policies are on the rise, and racist attacks against migrant women are increasing.
While the war policies of the government do not stop even in the earthquake, they impose a life based on militarism, nationalism, and sexism on us. The state is trying to cover up the anger of the people for the loss of the people with the hatred of immigrants and refugees.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in power since 2014, is yet to respond to the protestors. International Women’s Day takes place on Wednesday, the 8th of March and the severe issues that women are facing in Turkey are proof that the world still has a long way to go until true gender equality is reached.
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