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Turkish police fire tear gas on women protesting domestic violence

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Turkish police on Thursday fired tear gas at hundreds of women protesting in İstanbul against male violence, Agence France-Presse reported.

The protesters held banners saying “We will fight till we get what we want”, “Don’t be quiet to the male violence” and urged the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to rejoin an international treaty designed to protect women.

The landmark Istanbul Convention came into force in 2014 and laid the way for a Europe-wide legal framework to tackle, prevent and prosecute violence against women.

Turkey abandoned the convention after Erdoğan signed a decree to that effect in March, drawing the wrath of women campaigners.

Conservatives within the ruling party argue the treaty’s principles of gender equality undermine traditional family values and promote homosexuality.

The protesters later wanted to walk to the main Istiklal Street and tried to cross police barricades but riot police fired tear gas to disperse them, an AFP reporter said.

A total of 345 women have been killed since the start of the year, according to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform. There were 410 women killed in 2020.

Women campaigners told AFP women feel more vulnerable and legally unprotected since Turkey withdrew from the convention.

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