Women

Istanbul Convention- GREVIO Election: This election should not count!

Monday, December 29, 2014
The Istanbul Convention Turkey Monitoring Platform has declared that it will not recognize the GREVIO Election that excludes women and LGBTI organizations.
 
The election for the anti-violence expert action group the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) which will monitor the implementation of the convention by state parties took place on 22 December 2014 at a meeting of the Ministry of the Family and Social Policies.
 
The Istanbul Convention Turkey Monitoring Platform stated that the government cannot prevent violence through associations that they have founded themselves and through the exclusion of women and LGBTI organizations. The full statement is as follows:
 
The Government cannot prevent violence through its own associations! 
 
The Ministry of the Family and Social Policies has decided that the 3 NGOs in the 9 person committee to designate candidates for the Istanbul convention monitoring group GREVIO beKADEMAK-DER and KASAD-D [NGOs close to the ruling AKP government]. The “election” of the 3 NGOs took place after independent women and LGBTI organizations left the meeting in response to the Ministry’s complete refusal to assess their objections to methodologies.
 
The Istanbul Convention, which Turkey signed first and accepted without any reservations thanks to the efforts of independent women’s organizations, came into effect on 1 August 2014. The Istanbul Convention is the most up-to-date and comprehensive text that clearly expresses the root cause of violence against women to be inequality between men and women and that aims to eradicate violence based on gender. Let us not forget the strong allegations that claim efforts by the Minister of the Family and Social Policies, Aysenur Islam, to withdraw Turkey’s signature from the convention.
 
Women’s organizations were involved before the Ministry
 
The Convention requires the formation of a group of experts called GREVIO to monitor the implementation of the convention and to work within the Council of Europe. The Istanbul Convention Monitoring Platform consists of 77 independent women and LGBTI organizations and has been working on the GREVIO candidate designation, implementation and monitoring of the convention for months. The Platform consists of organizations that work in the field of violence against women and violence based on gender, who are experts in this area, who believe in the equality of men and women and who work on non-violence policies at local, national, and international levels. The Platform has submitted many documents to the Ministry of Family and Social Policies on the implementation of the convention, on its request to participate in the GREVIO and relevant processes in Turkey, on the criteria of the candidates and possible names.
 
The Ministry of Family and Social Policies did not respond to any of these written petitions and requested the participation of civil society only through a text called “The selection of GREVIO candidates” on its website until 15 December. However, merely two days after the deadline, the Ministry declared that the election of the GREVIO candidates would happen in a top-down manner. This method of the Ministry that has no legitimacy consists of a 9 person committee from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) Equal Opportunities for Women and Men Commission, TBMM Human Rights Monitoring Commission, Assembly of the Council of Europe Parliamentarians, Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry (total 6 representatives) and 3 civil society organizations (total 3 representatives). This method aims to exclude independent NGOs and to turn them into an ineffective minority in the eyes of the public.
 
The Istanbul Convention Monitoring Platform sent a written statement to the Ministry of 19 December with its criticisms of this election methodology and its suggestions; however, this text was also ignored by the Ministry. The Ministry informed some of the Platform members of a 22 December meeting on the GREVIO only 1.5 days before the meeting. The Ministry also required the participating organizations to bring documents showing official signatures and stamps by the organizations’ president, the organizations’ tax and registration numbers, original signature documents and personal IDs, creating many bureaucratic impediments. Even though the platform members submitted the names of their representatives, the Ministry tried to prevent their participation using various excuses. Despite all of this, 33 member-organizations from 10 cities including Istanbul, Ankara, Mus, Antalya, Adana, Adiyaman, Mersin, Bursa, Edirne, and Gaziantep came to Ankara to participate in the meeting. The members of the platform succeeded in participating in the meeting.
 
We do not accept this anti-democratic method!
 
The Platform members stated that this sudden meeting that the Ministry’s GREVIO election method stands in contrast to the Istanbul Convention’s clause, that it is anti-democratic, that the real partners are precisely the organizations who have been working in the fields of violence against women, that there should be no election in the meeting, and that even if there is an election it is illegitimate, and that a transparent and inclusive method needs to be set in place. However, these criticisms were also ignored. The Ministry persisted in the election and requested stamps and documents on legal entities to vote and stated that only associations and foundations would be considered civil society. Platform members left the meeting after this.
 
The NGOs of the Government were elected!
 
After Platform members left the meeting, the remaining group of 25 people “elected” the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM), Association of Women’s Health (KASAD), and Women’s Association against Discrimination (AKDER). These associations have been founded by the Government. The 9 person committee to elect the GREVIO cannot consist of 6 members of the public authority and 3 “elected” associations that are so clearly the government’s choice. This process is illegitimate. The monitoring of an international convention on violence against women cannot be left to the public authority.
 
The 22 December meeting was organized to select the three civil society organizations to participate in the committee. However, the Turkish Family Platform (TÜRAP) composed of several NGOs and known for its closeness to the Government had already shared the results of this election on social media before the consultation deadline was even reached. This proves that the Ministry’s meeting and consultation with civil society were only for show and that the plan was always to set up a “selection of candidates with a committee composed of public authority”. The fact that TÜRAP consists of members who have no expertise or experience on the issue of violence against women such as the Istanbul Conquerors Scouts’ Group and the HAPKIDO Federation (Korean martial arts) shows that the consultation period did not conform to the Convention’s goals and content and worked in an opaque way.
 
This election should not count!
 
These “NGOs” that the Ministry works in tandem with have declared their “campaign” against the Convention’s clauses on the prevention of violence against women as harming “the family structure” and the clauses on non-discrimination against LGBTI individuals as harming “society’s structure”. This new “committee” within the Ministry aims to exclude women and LGBTI organizations from the Istanbul Convention process and to distort the content of the convention as well as to hamper its implementation.
 
The fact that Turkey has already violated the Convention is proof that we will face new violations in the implementation of the Convention. The Istanbul Convention is the success of women and cannot be implemented with the current Government’s arbitrary decisions. We will not allow actions contrary to the Convention’s goals and contents and will continue to work as the main parties of the Convention. As independent Women and LGBTI organizations, we hereby declare that we will take this impediment to our participation in the process and this violation against the principles of transparency and equal participation to all national and international mechanisms starting with the Council of Europe based on the Istanbul Convention and Council of Europe’s Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process.
 
Istanbul Convention Turkey Monitoring Platform
 
Watch the GREVIO meeting’s video
 
Read the Istanbul Convention: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/convention-violence/convention/Convention%20210%20English.pdf
 
Read about Monitoring: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/convention-violence/AboutMonitoring_en.asp
 
Signatories:
Üniversite öğrencileri Kaos GL’den beklentilerini paylaştı
 
1. Adana Women’s Solidarity Centre - Adana Kadın Dayanışma Merkezi (AKDAM)
2. Adıyaman Association of Women and Life - Adıyaman Kadın Yaşam Derneği (AKAYDER)
3. Adıyaman Association for the Research and Analysis of Women’s Issues - Adıyaman Kadın Sorunlarını Araştırma ve Çözüm Derneği (AKSAÇ)
4. Adıyaman Young Women Entrepreneurs and Employment Association - Adıyaman Genç Kuşak Girişimci Kadınlar ve İstihdam Derneği
5. Adıyaman Anatolia Businesswomen’s Association - Adıyaman Anadolu İş Kadınları Derneği
6. Amargi İzmir
7. Antalya Women’s Counseling and Solidarity Association - Antalya Kadın Danışma Merkezi ve Dayanışma Derneği
8. Ankara Feminist Collective (AFK) - Ankara Feminist Kolektif
9. European Women’s Lobby – Turkey - Avrupa Kadın Lobisi – Türkiye Koordinasyonu (AKL – Türkiye)
10. Ayvalik Independent Women’s Initiative
11. Mersin Independent Women’s Association – Mersin Bağımsız Kadın Derneği
12. Buca Evka -1 Women, Culture and Solidarity Association – Buca Evka –1 Kadın Kültür ve Dayanışma Derneği (BEKEV)
13. Bursa Wisteria Women’s Solidarity Association - Bursa Mor Salkım Kadın Dayanışma  Derneği
14. Ceren Women’s Association - Ceren Kadın  Derneği
15. Association for Gender Equality Watch - Cinsiyet Eşitliği İzleme Derneği (CEİD)
16. Çanakkale Association for the Utilization of Women’s Handicrafts - Çanakkale Kadın El Emeğini Değerlendirme Derneği (ELDER)
17. Edirne Women’s Counseling Centre Association - Edirne Kadın Merkezi Danışma Derneği
18. Association for Women with Disabilities- Engelli Kadın Derneği
19. Ergani Selis Women’s Association - Ergani Selis Kadın Derneği
20. EŞİTİZ – Equality Monitoring Women’s Group - EŞİTİZ - Eşitlik İzleme Kadın Grubu
21. Association for Life Equality - Eşit Yaşam Derneği
22. Home-based Working Women’s Group - Ev Eksenli Çalışan Kadınlar Grubu
23. Housewives Association - Ev Hanımları Derneği (EVKAD)
24. Femin & Art International Women Artists Association - Femin & Art Uluslararası Kadın Sanatçılar Derneği (10 Branches)
25. Filmmor Women’s Cooperative - Filmmor Kadın Kooperatifi
26. Rainbow Women’s Association - Gökkuşağı Kadın Derneği
27. Rightfull Women Platform - Haklı Kadın Platformu
28. İstanbul Feminist Collective (İFK)
29. İstanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association - İstanbul LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği
30. İzmir Independent Women’s Initiative - İzmir Bağımsız Kadın İnisiyatifi
31. İzmir Bar Association Centre for Women’s Rights and Law Research - İzmir Barosu Kadın Hakları ve Hukuk Araştırmaları Merkezi
32. İzmir Çiğli Evka 2 Women’s Cultural Association - İzmir Çiğli Evka 2 Kadın Kültür Derneği (ÇEKEV)
33. İzmir Feminist Collective (İzFK) - İzmir Feminist Kolektif
34. İzmir Women’s Solidarity Association - İzmir Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
35. Platform for Urgent Action Against Femicide - Kadın Cinayetlerine Karşı Acil Önlem Platformu
36. Association for Women’s Studies - Kadın Çalışmaları Derneği
37. Women’s Education and Labor Association - Kadın Eğitim ve İstihdam Derneği
38. Social Gender Equality Association - Kadın Erkek Birlikte Sosyal Eşitlik Derneği (KEBSED)
39. Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways (WWHR) - Kadının İnsan Hakları -Yeni Çözümler Derneği (KİH-YÇ)
40. Women’s Legal Aid Centre - Kadınlara Hukuki Destek Merkezi (KAHDEM)
41. Women’s Solidarity Foundation - Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı (KADAV)
42. Women’s Labor and Employment Initiative - Kadın Emeği İstihdamı Girişimi (KEİG)
43. Black Sea Women’s Solidarity Association - Karadeniz Kadın Dayanışma Derneği (KarKad-Der)
44. Karya Women's Association – Karya Kadın Derneği
45. The Association for the Support of Women Candidates - Kadın Adayları Destekleme Derneği (KA-DER) (Headquarters and Representatives)
46. The Association for the Support of Women Candidates – Ankara branch – Kadın Adayları Destekleme Derneği Ankara Şubesi (KA-DER Ankara Branch)
47. Gender Equality Association - Kadın Erkek Eşitliği Derneği - KAZETEDER
48. Women’s Centre Foundation - Kadın Merkezi Vakfı (KAMER) (23 Branches)
49. Women’s Solidarity Foundation - Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı
50. Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association – Kaos Gey ve Lezbiyen Kültürel Araştırmalar ve Dayanışma Derneği (KaosGL)
51. Cappadocia Women’s Solidarity Association - Kapadokya Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
52. KAZETE – Independent Women’s Gazette - Bağımsız Kadın Gazetesi
53. Red Pepper Association - Kırmızı Biber Derneği
54. Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association - Kırmızı Şemsiye Cinsel Sağlık ve İnsan Hakları Derneği
55. Lambdaİstanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association - Lambdaİstanbul LGBTİ Dayanışma Derneği
56. Mavigöl Women’s Association - Mavigöl Kadın Derneği
57. Media Watch Group - Medya İzleme Grubu (MEDİZ)
58. Mersin 7 Colours LGBT – 7 Renk LGBT
59. Purple Roof Women’s Shelter Foundation - Mor Çatı Kadın Sığınağı Vakfı
60. Purple Hand Eskişehir LGBT - MorEl Eskişehir LGBT
61. Muş Women’s Roof – Muş Kadın Çatısı
62. Muş Women’s Association – Muş Kadın Derneği (MUKADDER)
63. Ordu Association for Empowering Women – Ordu Kadını Güçlendirme Derneği
64. Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Association - Pembe Hayat LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği
65. Petrol-İş Trade Union Women’s Magazine - Petrol-İş Sendikası Kadın Dergisi
66. Selis Women’s Association – Selis Kadın Derneği
67. İzmir Black Pink Triangle Association - Siyah Pembe Üçgen İzmir Derneği
68. Association for the Study of Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation - Sosyal Politikalar Cinsiyet Kimliği ve Cinsel Yönelim Çalışmaları Derneği (SPoD LGBTİ)
69. Sosyalist Feminist Collective (SFK)
70. Trabzon Association for Women’s Advancement and Communication – Trabzon Kadın Gelişim ve İletişim Derneği
71. Transsexual Counseling Centre - Trans Danışma Merkezi (T-DER)
72. Turkish Mothers Association Trabzon Branch - Türk Anneler Derneği Trabzon Şubesi
73. Turkish Women’s Union - Türk Kadınlar Birliği
74. Turkish University Graduate Women’s Association - Türk Üniversiteli Kadınlar Derneği (TÜKD)
75. Turkish Medical Association Women Doctors Arm - Türk Tabipler Birliği Kadın Hekimler Kolu
76. Women’s Associations Federation of Turkey - Türkiye Kadın Dernekleri Federasyonu
77. Flying Broom Women’s Communication and Research Association - Uçan Süpürge Kadın  İletişim  ve Araştırma Derneği
78. Urfa Living Space Women’s Solidarity Association – Urfa Yaşamevi Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
79. Life Cooperative for Women, Environment, Culture, and Management/Operation - Yaşam Kadın Çevre Kültür ve İşletme Kooperatifi (YAKA-KOOP)
80. Life Women’s Centre Association - Yaşam Kadın Merkezi Derneği
81. Van Women’s Association – Van Kadın Derneği (VAKAD)
82. Van Saray District Association for the Modernisation, Preservation and Strengthening of Women, Children and Family Relations– İlçesi Kadın Çocuk ve Aile İlişkilerini Geliştirme Modernleştirme Koruma ve Güçlendirme Derneği
83. WINPEACE – Turko-Greek Women’s Initiative for Peace - Türkiye Yunanistan Kadınları Barış Girişimi
 
Photos: Buse Kilickaya / Pink Life Association
 
Translation: LGBTI News Turkey
Share |