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Elif Shafak complains about Turkey to Angelina Jolie

On the 17th of April, Angelina Jolie talks to Elif Shafak about why men need to be engaged in the fight for women's rights, on the TIME magazine. Communication between Jolie and Shafak seems to be normal initially, but then, Elif Shafak starts to complain Turkish government to Angelina Jolie. The topic is about Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

The Istanbul Convention was opened for signature at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe held in Istanbul on May 11, 2011. Turkey signed the convention, however, a decade later Turkey pulled out of the convention. Femicide in Turkey has doubled since the Istanbul Convention was signed and the relevant law came into effect.

The Turkish government showed that the treaty was being used to “normalize homosexuality” and undermine Turkish family values. That is the biggest reason why Turkey pulled out of the convention.

Elif Shafak claims that “I think this is a major setback, which will have catastrophic consequences for women, for children, and for the LGBTQ community. The Istanbul Convention is the most progressive international treaty we have that protects anyone who is vulnerable to violence. It provides legal networks, it opens shelters, it raises awareness, and it protects victims and prevents violence— if it is implemented. Turkey was the first country to sign and ratify this treaty, but now it is abandoning it. It breaks my heart, because it is happening at a moment when femicide cases are increasing. There was already an escalation in domestic violence cases in Turkey. At a time when women needed protection the most, the government is doing the exact opposite.” She is wrong, because, as mentioned above, femicide in Turkey has doubled since the Istanbul Convention was signed and the relevant law came into effect.

She also underlines that “pulling out of the Convention has a double message. You are telling women that their lives are not important. And you are telling perpetrators that their crimes will be legitimized. It emboldens perpetrators of violence.” That also cannot be true, because Turkey withdrew from the agreement due to its objections just like other states namely; Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia. Turkey decided to side with other members of the Council of Europe that did not sign the convention, such as; the U.K., Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Liechtenstein and Armenia. Can it be said that these abovementioned countries also tell that their female citizens’ lives are not important?

That would be ridiculous to say that Turkish women are left unprotected just because Turkey decided to pull out of the Istanbul Convention. The numbers have told that even though  Turkey chose to stay, it would not have meant an end to femicides as they are unfortunately happening all over the world. In that way, this article proves that Elif Shafak falsely talks to Angelina Jolie, and unrightfully complains Turkey and the convention.