A critical assessment of Turkey’s positive obligations in combatting violence against women: looking behind the judgments

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Abstract

After almost two decades in power, R. T. Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have established authoritarian and Islamist governance in Turkey, which has adversely affected gender equality and women’s rights. So much so, that in 2009 the European Court of Human Rights acknowledged that there is a climate conducive to domestic violence in Turkey (Opuz v. Turkey). Despite Erdoğan withdrawing Turkey unconstitutionally from the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), the government cannot withdraw from the state’s duty to protect its citizens from the criminal acts of private individuals. By using international and regional organisations’ approaches to positive obligations and due diligence as a measure, the article addresses whether Turkey is fulfilling its duty of protecting women from the violent conduct of others. It is concluded that the government is failing in its positive obligations and instead, is reinforcing the climate through its discourse and practices that strengthen a national tolerance of violence against women and the national authorities’ reluctance to address it, thus allowing for impunity of its perpetrators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-53
JournalMuslim World Journal of Human Rights
Volume18
Issue number1
Early online date19 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • positive obligations
  • Opuz v Turkey
  • due diligence
  • violence against women
  • impunity
  • gender-based violence
  • Turkey

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