Support Messages Received From All Around the World for the United 4 Istanbul Convention Campaign Online Demonstration

1965 people and institutions from 63 different countries participated in the online demonstration that we launched on the united4istanbulconvention.com website as the United4IstanbulConvention Campaign; highlighted the importance of the convention in preventing gender-based violence and protested the unlawful withdrawal of Turkey from the convention.

Following the announcement of Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention by the Presidential Decision published in the Official Gazette on 20 March 2021, 23 feminist and LGBTI+ organizations working in Turkey and internationally in Europe joined forces to protect our rights and to uphold the Istanbul Convention. We launched the campaign with the first statement published on 11th of May, the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Convention for signature. We started a global online demonstration before Turkey’s official withdrawal from the convention on 1st of July. Participants from 63 countries, from Czechia to India, from Hungary to Paraguay, from Moldova to Mongolia, emphasized the responsibility of the states to eliminate violence and shared they are against this unlawful act.

With the message “We do not give up on the Istanbul Convention!” the participants voiced their demands to abandon the decision to withdraw from the convention as soon as possible and to become a party to the convention again. “Equal living conditions are a humane demand.” and “Women live as they want.” were the messages of hundreds of people pointing out that they own their own lives and that everyone has the right to lead a life free from violence. Participants from various parts of the world stood in solidarity with those who objected to this unlawful and illegitimate decision in Turkey by saying “Women are together beyond borders!” and “I am with you. Together we can do it.”

In the online demonstration in which the message “Solidarity with women in Turkey and all countries where the Istanbul Convention is under attack!” was given, it was stated that gender inequality and human rights are under attack not only in Turkey but also in other parts of the world and the demand “for a world free of gender-based violence” was expressed.

Nacho Sanchez Amor, European Parliament standing rapporteur on Turkey, joined the campaign with his message: “We are committed to realizing gender equality for all and we will persist until our demands for equality, non-discrimination and life free of violence are met.” The European Socialists Party (PES) Women’s Group stated that withdrawing from the convention means sacrificing the human rights of women and noted, “The #IstanbulConventionSavesLives Sign, Ratify, Implement for a Europe free from gender-based violence. The withdrawal from (the convention by the) Turkish regime is unconstitutional, unlawful and against common international standards to protect women from violence.” Republican People’s Party İzmir Deputy Murat Bakan also shared a message, “I respectfully greet the struggle of women in all areas of life. I declare that we are together in their honourable struggle for the Istanbul Convention and that we will always do anything that falls on us.”

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