Ankara police detain women protesting against withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Turkish police on Wednesday detained a number of women in Ankara gathered to protest government plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty that offers legal and social guidelines on how to curb violence against women. 

The members of the Ankara Women’s Plaform, a women’s rights advocacy group, who were preparing to deliver a statement on the convention, were detained following police intervention, Gerçek Gündem news site reported

Police refused to allow the protest and directed the group elsewhere. A number of women were taken into police custody after refusing to leave, it said.

The Istanbul Convention has been in the spotlight in Turkey for weeks, after the government announced it was considering withdrawal from the landmark agreement.

In recent months, conservative groups in the country have stepped up their criticism on the convention, saying it encourages divorce and subverts morality.