Photo. by Huseyin Aldemir via Shutterstock

As Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul convention, an international agreement meant to prevent violence against women, President Joe Biden released a statement on March 21 calling  it “deeply disappointing.” 

“This is a disheartening step backward for the international movement to end violence against women globally,” Biden said.

Biden’s statement comes as Turkish-American relations remain uncertain. Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have not spoken on the phone since Biden came into office.

The Turkish Presidency’s Directorate of Communications released a statement that explained Turkey’s unilateral decision resulted from the agreement being used to protect LGBT rights.

“The Istanbul Convention, originally intended to promote women’s rights, was hijacked by a group of people attempting to normalize homosexuality – which is incompatible with Turkey’s social and family values. Hence, the decision to withdraw,” the statement said.

The Istanbul Convention claimed that men and women have equal rights.

Some officials from Erdogan’s Islamic-oriented ruling party took issue with these terms because they claim to “promote homosexuality.” 

“The Turkish State has continuously stressed that the country will not give up on its fight against domestic violence by quitting the Convention,” according to the Turkish presidency’s statement.

 Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, called for Turkey to rejoin the pact.

“Now is the time to show leadership and enhance global efforts to fight violence against women and girls, not to retreat. This is why we cannot but regret deeply and express incomprehension towards the decision of the Turkish government to withdraw from this convention that even bears the name of Istanbul,” Borrell said.

Written ByLevon Satamian

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