Turkey: Action alert to eliminate gender discrimination and human rights violations in the new Turkish Penal Code

WLUML has received a call for action from friends in Turkey following the recent Turkish Penal Code reform and urges you to respond.
Dear friends,

As a result of our extensive three-years campaign for the Reform of the Turkish Penal Code from a Gender Perspective, the new Turkish Penal Code contains more than thirty amendments that constitute a major step towards gender equality and protection of sexual and bodily rights of women and girls in Turkey. However, despite the wide range of amendments, discriminatory provisions remain in the new law, violating human rights in the domain of sexual and reproductive rights in Turkey. The government has postponed the new penal code going into effect to June 1st, 2005 and is conducting a final review for further amendments, which provides another opportunity for our demands. At this point, pressure from the international arena is crucial to lobby the government for the remaining necessary amendments.

The new code still fails to effectively penalize women’s human rights violations such as honor killings and virginity testing and falls short of prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. The current provisions penalizes consensual sexual relations between youth aged 15-18. Although abortion was allowed up to 12 weeks in the original draft law, the Justice Commission reduced this period to 10 weeks. We kindly ask you to fax and widely circulate the action alert (please find below and attached) to the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the head of the opposition party, calling for the amendment of the remaining discriminatory provisions, so that the reform concludes successfully. Please support our campaign by sending faxes to the Turkish government and the main opposition party. Please see the sample action letter below and attached.

We thank you for your support.

Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways

Email: wwhrist@superonline.com
Tel: +90 – 212 - 251 00 29
Fax: +90 212 251 00 65
Website: http://www.wwhr.org
Women for Women's Human Rights - New Ways