Friday, November 26, 2021

Turkish police fire tear gas at women protesters in Istanbul | Al Jazeera

 Turkish police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on Thursday to push back thousands of people, many of them women, who took to the streets of Istanbul to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The protests, part of a week of nationwide mobilisation, came amid calls for Turkey to rejoin the Istanbul Convention, a landmark agreement to protect women that includes 45 countries and was signed in Turkey’s largest city in 2011.

While Turkey was the first country to sign onto the convention, in July it also became the first to withdraw with the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming the initiative had been “hijacked by a group of people attempting to normalise homosexuality”.

Turkish women have held mass protests twice over the withdrawal, in March when Erdogan first announced his intention to withdraw, and again in July, when the move became official.

Erdogan has argued existing laws in Turkey already provide enough protection for women, but women’s rights groups in the country say the convention provided a roadmap for important legislation that the government has never fully implemented.

At least 285 women have been killed by men so far in 2021 in Turkey, according to the We Will Stop Femicide platform, a non-governmental organisation that tracks such incidents and lobbies for killers to be prosecuted.

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