We Will Stop Femicide plans protests as Turkey seeks to shut the women's rights group down
Turkish prosecutors have filed a lawsuit aimed at shutting down one of the nation's most respected women's rights groups, its members said on Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed against We Will Stop Femicide, which publicises the murder and abuses of women in the country.
Fidan Ataselim, the group's secretary general, said the lawsuit accuses the group of conducting activities that violate Turkey's "laws and morals".
No trial date has yet been set.
We Will Stop Femicide was a vocal critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision last year to pull Turkey out of the Istanbul Convention, which requires countries to set up laws aimed at preventing and prosecuting violence against women.
We Will Stop Femicide has organised large rallies in support of the convention.
Organisers have scheduled new demonstrations in Istanbul and other major cities in defence of the association on Saturday.
We Will Stop Femicide says 280 women were killed in Turkey last year, with many of the murders committed by family members.
Another 217 women died in suspicious circumstances, including those officially registered as suicide, the group says.
According to women's rights group We Will Stop Femicide, 391 women have been killed by men this year so far in #Turkey https://t.co/hV0w8dldmD— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) December 16, 2019
Ataselim said the lawsuit was filed based on a complaint registered by a group of Turks through a website set up by the presidency to field citizens' requests.
The complaint accused the group of "destroying the family based on the pretext of defending women's rights", Ataselim said.
The language is similar to that used by Erdogan in his decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, which Turkey signed in 2011.
Social conservatives in Turkey claim the convention promotes homosexuality and threatens traditional family values.