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'Gender identity' laws

At this time, Turkey has not yet adopted gender ideology in any official capacity, beyond allowing individuals who undergo certain surgical procedures to legally change the sex recorded on their legal documents (since 1988). However, as in many other countries, western-educated and some other university-educated people in Turkey, along with many "feminist" and "queer" organizations, continue to lump the TQ+ in with the LGB. If any push for self-ID legislation is going to come, it will most likely come from these segments of the population. As previous speakers at Feminist Question Time events have noted, the biggest problems facing women and girls in Turkey at the moment relate to male violence, femicide, sexism, child marriage of girls, lack of rights for lesbians, homophobia, unequal opportunities for women (for example, no anti-discrimination protections in employment), etc.

27 March 2021 - WDI issues statement on Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention - download the PDF here.


Women’s Declaration stands with the women and girls of Turkey, as they demand their government reverse its decision to withdraw from the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention).

The Istanbul Convention was the first legally binding instrument to establish a comprehensive legal framework to combat violence against women. Turkey was the first country to ratify the convention in May 2011, setting an example for the global community. The Convention recognised that violence against women was a social mechanism by which women, as a sex, are forced into a subordinate position compared with men. It was designed to address these societal inequalities by requiring governments to adopt legislation to prosecute domestic violence, child marriage, marital rape and female genital mutilation.

Turkey’s withdrawal from the Convention is a backward step in the struggle to protect women’s rights and is deeply concerning. In the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, a “shadow pandemic” of violence perpetrated by men has exploded on to the female populations across the globe (WHO 9.3.21). Figures for femicide in Turkey, collated by Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz (, show that 409 women were killed in 2020.

WDI is concerned that the actions of the Turkish government risk compromising the protection and fundamental rights of women and girls in Turkey, secured without discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin and sends a dangerous example.

We add our voice to the thousands raising theirs in protest across Turkey, as we say, honour the commitment you made.

Women’s Declaration International (WDI) March 2021

The Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights has been signed by 16,001 individuals in Turkey and 128 other countries, and by 317 organisations around the world.

Women’s Declaration International advocates for the sex-based rights of all women and girls through the reaffirming of existing rights as laid out in the Women’s Humans rights Declaration (website). Article 8 reaffirms the elimination of violence against women. WDI has been signed by 16,001 individuals in 129 countries, and by 317 Organisations around the world.