Victory for Turkish feminists: an Istanbul court announced on Wednesday the dropping of charges against a women's rights association accused of "contrary to moral" activities.
“The complaint was rejected,” Nursen Inal, one of the representatives of the “We Will Stop Femicide” platform, which a prosecutor requested to be dissolved last year, told AFP.
“We are very happy, even if none of this should have happened in the first place. We will continue the fight to defend women's rights!” Ms. Inal told AFP amid applause from supporters present at the court.
"What were we saying? We will stop feminicides and you will not be able to stop us!", the association welcomed again in a message on the social network X (formerly Twitter).
An Istanbul prosecutor requested last year the dissolution of the "We Will Stop Femicide" platform, one of the main associations defending women's rights in Turkey, for "activities contrary to law and morality".
The leaders of the NGO, founded in 2010, have denounced a political trial since its opening in June 2022.
At the origin of the trial, complaints filed by individuals who accuse the members of the association of "destroying the family under the pretext of defending women's rights".
The platform had organized several demonstrations for Turkey's retention in the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty establishing a legal and institutional framework to fight against gender-based violence and from which Turkey withdrew in 2021.
The Turkish government justified its decision by saying that the treaty encouraged homosexuality and threatened the traditional family structure.
Conversely, families of Turkish women victims of femicide had taken up the defense of the feminist platform.
“We oppose the dissolution of the platform. They supported us when there was no one to support us,” they argued in a press release read in court on Wednesday by a manager of the NGO.
In the home stretch of the campaign for the presidential election in May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also targeted LGBTQI people almost daily, whom he has described for years as "perverts".
According to the feminist platform, 189 women have been killed since the start of the year in Turkey -- 403 in 2022.
The dropping of proceedings against the NGO comes seven days after the visit to Ankara of the European Commissioner for Enlargement.
The latter, the Hungarian Oliver Varhelyi, conditioned the resumption of Turkey's accession negotiations to the European Union on the achievement of progress in terms of "democracy and (the) rule of law".
13/09/2023 13:31:26 - Istanbul (AFP) - © 2023 AFP