Turkish police detain 25 in protest to support women’s rights accord

Ankara (Reuters) – Turkish police on Wednesday detained 25 women protesting against the possibility of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party pulling Turkey out of an international accord designed to protect women against domestic violence, a police source said.

Reuters television video showed around a hundred protesters in the streets of the capital Ankara demanding better implementation of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention.

Scuffles broke out between police and protesters as security forces blocked the road and asked the women to disperse, the video showed.

Despite signing the Istanbul Convention in 2011, Turkey had 474 femicides last year, double the number in 2011, according to a group which monitors murders of women.

Many conservatives in Turkey say the pact, ironically forged in Istanbul, encourages violence by undermining family structures. Their opponents argue that the deal, and legislation approved in its wake, need to be implemented more stringently.

The AK Party has been expected to announce a decision soon on whether to remain in the accord or withdraw.