Critical analysis of the AKP’s gender politics: towards withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Çelenk, Gamze
This thesis examines the withdrawal of Turkish state from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known as Istanbul Convention (IC), by a Presidential Decision published on March 21st, 2021. Assuming that the case of IC can be an indicator of the transformation of political power and its gender politics in Turkey, this study aims to understand the processes leading to the signing of the Convention, and the withdrawal decision with a focus on the state. Based on the materialist-feminist theoretical and conceptual framework, this study critically analyzes the gender politics of the AKP government in Turkey, by focusing on neoconservative and neoliberal processes that resulted in withdrawal from IC. The main argument of the thesis is that The Presidential Decision on withdrawal from IC is a result of the consolidation of selective patriarchy in post-2010 era Turkey which, from 2018 onwards, found itself in a political-economic crisis and consequently tilt the direction of gender selectivity of the new Turkish state towards anti-genderist/anti-feminist social forces. In conclusion, based on the recontextualization of the materialist -feminist state theory, this study finds out that the change in political power towards withdrawal from IC is not exclusively the misuse of political power, but change in the historical form of the capitalist state as a historical-relational structure with gender selectivities.


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Citation Formats
G. Çelenk, “Critical analysis of the AKP’s gender politics: towards withdrawal from Istanbul Convention,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.