US President Joe Biden has hit out at Turkey for withdrawing from an international accord designed to protect women from violence.
Biden said the move was “disappointing” and a “disheartening step backward” for efforts to end attacks on women.
This is as Turkey claims the Istanbul Convention – which seeks to prevent, prosecute and eliminate domestic violence – had been “hijacked” by people trying to “normalise homosexuality”.
On Sunday, Biden issued a statement to express his disappointment, joining a growing chorus of criticism around the globe.
“Around the world, we are seeing increases in the number of domestic violence incidents, including reports of rising femicide in Turkey,” Mr Biden said.
“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.
“We all must do more to create societies where women are able to go about their lives free from violence.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government unilaterally quit the convention on Saturday, nearly 10 years after it became the first signatory to the landmark agreement.
The move sparked large protests led by women in the country.
Women’s rights activists say the Istanbul Convention was crucial to combating domestic violence in Turkey.
The treaty, signed by 45 countries and the European Union, requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting domestic violence and similar abuse.