5Harfliler is an online journal focusing on gender, politics, art and pop culture. The publication is based in Istanbul and pursues a transnational feminist agenda. For any queries, please contact us at 5harfliler@gmail.com

How Are Women Defending the Istanbul Convention Across Turkey?

The recent debate regarding Turkey’s possible withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention has sparked protests all over Turkey. Women and Lgbti+ have taken to the streets in defense of their basic human rights. We spoke to 5 of these organizations across the country.

Havle Women’s Association: “Contrary to general assumptions, the Justice and Development Party base does not comply with everything that the government decrees”

Contrary to the general assumptions, the Justice and Development Party base does not comply with everything that the government decrees, neither about alimony law, early marriages nor about the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.  

The Istanbul Convention Debate: What Has Changed in a Decade?

The Istanbul Convention has become a very critical lens not only to see the record of gender equality in Turkey but also to predict AKP’s and Turkey’s future.

MP Meral Danış Beştaş: “There is a lot of work we can do, and we, after all, are the half of this country”

We spoke with Meral Danış Beştaş, member of Parliament from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), one of the lawyers in the Opuz Case, in which the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held a state accountable for discrimination caused by gender-based domestic violence for the first time. Beştaş explains how the Opuz Case was foundational for the Istanbul Convention.

Feminist Philosopher Nilgün Toker: “The current government pushes the concept of rights out of the domain of politics.”

We interviewed Prof. Dr. Nilgün Toker on the connections between the recent restrictive regulation on social media, the status change of Hagia Sophia from museum to mosque, and the current discussions to rescind from the Istanbul Convention.

Lawyer Hatice Demir: “The Convention explicitly bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”

Thanks to the Istanbul Convention, in the event of a partner violation or persistent pursuit against LGBTQ+ individuals, we can get results when we apply for restraining or protection orders.

“Protecting women is not the same as protecting the family,” says Mine Akarsu from Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation.

The state, which under normal circumstances has no qualms about meddling with our private lives, anchors such cases to the protection of family in a patriarchal manner if the case involves a family.

Feminist Lawyer Canan Arın: “Istanbul Convention is the human rights convention of women.”

We used to struggle to extend our rights, and now, we are reduced to a position of trying to preserve them.

What Should We Say to Children Abused by Their Loved Ones?

If we could only tell abused children that abuse is abuse, and that it has nothing to do with love.

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