Council of State to Announce Istanbul Convention Ruling

Turkey’s Council of State—the country’s highest administrative legal body—is expected to deliver its final decision today regarding the legal departure

Council of State to Announce Istanbul Convention Ruling

Council of State to Announce Istanbul Convention Ruling | Photo: Duvar English

Turkey’s Council of State—the country’s highest administrative legal body—is expected to deliver its final decision today regarding the legal departure from the Istanbul Convention following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s withdrawal decree in May 2021.

The Istanbul Convention is the largest treaty in the EU aimed at mitigating gender-based violence. Turkey’s reputation of violence towards women is a major domestic humanitarian issue—419 cases of femicide were recorded in 2021.

The EU views Erdogan’s decision to withdraw Turkey from the convention as illegitimate. Domestic unrest from Turkish women’s rights groups and disapproval from the opposition—the Republicans People’s Party (CHP)—have persisted since. Defending his decision, Erdogan stated Turkish law already has measures in place to protect vulnerable women. The opposition claim his decision was ratified through unlawful means and cannot be implemented.

If the Council of State concurs with Erdogan’s legal withdrawal decree, expect continued disapproval from domestic activist groups and the CHP. However, if the decree is nullified, anticipate increased attention towards gender-based violence in the political environment, which will likely spill over into administration policy as the 2023 general election looms. A Parliamentary vote may be required to legally enact Turkey’s exit from the treaty if Erdogan still seeks a departure.

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