Erdoğan announces parliamentary commission for violence against women

Turkish parliament is forming a new commission that will address violence against women, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday, something the government cannot allow to happen.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) stands for women’s rights and against gender-based violence, TRT cited Erdoğan as saying at the AKP congress for the women's branch on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

"There can be no explanation for the oppression of women due to their gender,’’ Erdoğan said. "We will not allow for the games of those who try to remove the identities of women as mothers, wives, children - in other words, as human beings - and present them before us as spiritless individuals.’’

Erdoğan has vowed to improve the standing of women in Turkey since his ruling AKP first won the elections in 2002. But a total of 6,732 women have been murdered in the 18 years since, according to a report prepared by opposition lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu.

Moreover, groups among Erdoğan's supporters have called on Turkey to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the colloquial name for the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, something the president has said he has considered.

The Turkish president also blasted critics, who condemn Turkey’s women’s rights record.

"The problem of those who target Turkey -refusing to see that femicides in countries that are supposedly more advanced than Turkey in terms of women’s rights are much much higher - is the Turkish nation itself,’’ Erdoğan said.

A total of 300 femicides were recorded in Turkey in 2020, according to the We Will Stop Femicides organisation.

Another 171 women were found dead under suspicious circumstances in the country last year, the organisation says, with some of those cases included alleged suicides.