On 20 March 2021, Turkish authorities issued a Presidential Decree announcing its imminent withdrawal from the 2011 Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention.
The Istanbul Convention was drafted by the Council of Europe in 2011, designed to provide legal protection for women and promote gender equality through legislation and education. Despite the fact that the text of the convention has not changed since Turkey’s ratification in 2012, newfound resistance has emerged from conservative critics in Turkey, who criticise the agreement for promoting homosexuality and threatening traditional family structures. This decision is an attack on the Turkish LGBTQIA+ community.
To protect the rights and dignity of LGBTQIA+ people, women, and girls, this decision must be met with the censure of the international community. Amnesty International Australia has written to Foreign Minister Payne to ask her to call on the Turkish government to immediately reverse its retrogressive decisions to withdraw from the Convention.