TOPSHOT - Women's rights activists gather to march through Taksim Square to protest against gender violence in Istanbul, on November 25, 2018, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey: Targeting of LGBTI people to justify quitting convention on combating violence against women is dangerous

Responding to a statement by the Turkish government justifying their proposal to pull out of a convention to combat and prevent domestic violence against women by claiming it is being used to ‘normalize homosexuality’ which is ‘incompatible with Turkey’s social and family values’, Amnesty International’s Senior Europe Adviser, Esther Major, said:

“The spurious and dangerous rationale put forward by the Turkish authorities for withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention by attempting to connect this appalling decision with LGBTI community adds insult to injury.

“Rather than attacking LGBTI people and withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention, the government should instead re-double efforts to ensure LGBTI people, women and children are protected from violence and abuse. This treaty is more important now than ever with COVID-19 measures, such as lockdowns, leading to a spike in reports of violence against women and girls.

“We call on Turkish authorities to immediately reverse its retrogressive decision to withdraw from the Convention, and to take action to protect and promote the rights of LGBTI people, women and girls. We further urge the authorities to ensure that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression of all those protesting – including LGBTI people and women – are fully respected and protected.” 

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Lucy Scholey, Media Relations Officer, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), 613-853-2142,