The government of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is dismantling human rights protections and democratic norms. The Human Rights Watch international human rights organization stated in a new report.

On March 19, 2021, the president issued a decree suddenly withdrawing Turkey from the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. The move came two days after the chief prosecutor of Turkey’s top court of appeal announced that he was opening a case to close down the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), only hours after the Erdoğan-controlled parliament improperly expelled an HDP deputy.

“President Erdoğan is targeting any institution or part of society that stands in the way of his wide-ranging effort to reshape Turkey’s society. The latest developments against parliamentary opposition, the Kurds, and women are all about ensuring the president’s hold on power in violation of human rights and democratic safeguards”,- the executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth mentioned.