Protecting the woman or the family? Contradiction between the law and ıts practice in violence against woman cases in Turkey
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Recently there have been significant developments in Turkey concerning the issue of violence against women such as the signing of the Istanbul Convention and the enactment of the law number 6284 on violence. The main argument of this paper is that the legislation is not properly implemented and this situation is due to the contradiction between the regulation stipulating gender equality and the patriarchal-conservative approach of the Justice and Development Party (JDP, Ak Party, AKP). According to the paper, as a conservative party, AKP perceives the empowerment of women as individuals rather as a threat to the unity of the family. That is why it does not comply with the obligations of the Convention and dedicates its discoursal and political priorities to the maintenance of the family at the expense of the welfare of women. To prove its hypotheses, the paper firstly depicts a short overview of the Convention and the law on violence followed by an analysis of the problems encountered in the implementation of the law. For this analysis, it makes use of the reports and declarations of women’s organizations which are members of Stop Violence Platform that has worked with the Ministry of Family and Social Policies during the law-making process. The paper secondly analyzes the public discourses of the AKP governments between 2011 and 2016 concerning women as well as the activities of two parliamentary research commissions on violence against women and divorces. It aims to reveal that the reluctance of the AKP in implementing the law is rooted in its conservatism.