The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence has been signed by 45 different countries, including Turkey. It was also known as the “Istanbul Convention” because Turkey made a major contribution to its preparation and it was opened for signature in Istanbul on May 11, 2011. The convention was an international human rights convention that defined the obligations of states on these issues, as well as the basic standards in the field of preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The Istanbul Convention has sparked heated debate in Turkey in recent years. The decree, signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took a step towards Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, and this step provoked a reaction from the majority of society. Many attempts have been made to withdraw and annul the decision, and many lawsuits have been filed. However, these attempts were unsuccessful! With the final decision issued by the “Administrative Affairs Board of the State Council”, Turkey formally withdrew from the Istanbul Convention. Let’s see the details together…

The Istanbul Convention was opened for signature on 11 May 2011 in Istanbul.

Many experts in various fields from Turkey and NGOs played an important role in the preparation of the contract. Turkey was the first country to sign and ratify the convention, most of which has been signed by the 45 member states of the European Union. Many scholars have stated that the convention is extremely important in preventing violence against women and domestic violence.

On March 20, 2021, the Presidential Decision annulling the Istanbul Convention for the Republic of Turkey was published in the Official Gazette.

This decision to withdraw Turkey from the Istanbul Convention provoked a reaction from a significant part of society. Protests took place in many cities. Many non-governmental organizations and human rights organizations have stated that the Istanbul Convention is vital to preventing violence against women and the killing of women. However, the relevant Presidential Decree came into force 3 months after it was notified by the European Commission, and Turkey withdrew from the convention.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed with the State Council to overturn Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention and to suspend the execution of the sentence.

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The 10th Chamber of the Council of State dismissed claims for a stay of execution. The claims filed for the annulment of the decision were considered in court. On July 19, the 10th Chamber of the State Council ruled that the relevant decision was in accordance with the law, and decided to reject the decision to terminate the contract and the annulment claims filed.

Numerous non-governmental organizations filed a lawsuit with the State Council of the Administrative Chambers after the annulment of decisions made by the 10th Chamber of the State Council.

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The Council of State Administrative Court Chambers has recently made a final decision. The board decided by a majority vote to “reject the annulment”. Thus, the litigation regarding the Istanbul Convention was completed and Turkey officially withdrew from the treaty.

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