Feminism as a threat to the Turkish state: A discourse analysis of Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention
This thesis analyzes Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention from a feminist poststructuralist perspective. The Istanbul Convention is described as the most comprehensive convention of its kind, aimed at preventing violence against women, protecting its victims, and prosecuting its perpetrators. However, recently the convention has become subject to the rise of anti-gender campaigns. I pose the question of how feminism is seen in relation to Turkey’s withdrawal from the convention adopting a gendered lens to the construction of Turkish national identity to understand how the withdrawal was motivated. To analyze this a discourse analysis of government officials’statements has been adopted. The notion of the family appears at the center of the discourse, resulting in a misogynist representation of women's identities and the construction of the Istanbul Convention, and by extension feminism, as a threat to the Turkish state. At first glance, the opposing ideas of gender appear as the main issue, but looking at it closer - gender rhetoric and policies seem to be used to serve political purposes. This thesis concludes that Turkey’s discourse on national identity is gendered and patriarchal and that Turkey participates in global anti-gender mobilization for political purposes.