The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is open to hear the views of all women associations on the Istanbul Convention, the party spokesperson has said, reiterating that they will never abandon supporting the family system while protecting women against violence.
“The work on [Istanbul Convention] is going on. We are seriously following the views of those who are expressing their position in a decent way and without insulting women. We are following the views of both those who support the convention and who don’t,” Ömer Çelik, the spokesperson of the AKP, told reporters following the party’s weekly executive board meeting under the leadership of President and AKP chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 18.
“What is essential for us is that we don’t see any inconsistency in protecting, empowering women and strengthening the family system at the same time,” he said.
The AKP has long been discussing whether Turkey should withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty on combatting violence against women, as a result of pressure from ultra-religious groups, who argue that the international document was corrupting family values. They also claim that the convention promotes LGBTI rights, which they say “harm” Turkish cultural and social norms.
Women associations, including the conservative ones with links to the AKP, defend the Istanbul Convention as the main tool in pushing the governments to take effective measures to end violence against women.
“We are saying that our approach is based on our objective to protect and empower women while keeping the family structure intact in line with our assessments of the criticisms, supports and concerns expressed,” he said.
“Turkey is capable of producing its laws and jurisprudence as well as of introducing its thesis whatever the decision to be given on that matter. We have done it so far and we will do it afterwards. We are open to the views of all the women associations,” he stated.
Hurriyet Daily News