Biden calls Turkey's exit from treaty to protect women 'disappointing'



A protest against Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, an international accord designed to protect women, in Ankara, March 20, 2021. /Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday voiced strong disappointment over Turkey's "sudden" and "unwanted" withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention.

"Countries should be working to strengthen and renew their commitments to ending violence against women, not rejecting international treaties designed to protect women and hold abusers accountable," Biden said in a statement. "This is a disheartening step backward for the international movement to end violence against women globally."

The Turkish government said on Saturdaythat President Tayyip Erdogan pulled Turkey out of the international accord designed to protect women.

No reason was provided for the withdrawal in the Official Gazette. But top government officials said domestic law rather than outside fixes would protect women's rights.

(With input from Reuters)