By Hakan Copur
WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden on Sunday said Turkey's decision to withdraw from a European treaty on preventing violence against women was "deeply disappointing."
"Turkey's sudden and unwarranted withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is deeply disappointing," Biden said in a written statement.
He said there was an increase in the number of domestic violence incidents around the world, including Turkey, and stressed that countries should work together to end violence against women.
"This is a disheartening step backward for the international movement to end violence against women globally," Biden added.
Stating that everybody should oppose gender-based violence and recalling recent cases of femicide in Georgia, he said: "It hurts all of us, and we all must do more to create societies where women are able to go about their lives free from violence."
- Istanbul Convention
Turkey was the first country to ratify the European convention adopted in Istanbul in 2011.
The convention seeks to prevent violence against women, including domestic violence, and bring an end to legal impunity for perpetrators.
While the convention was enforced in 34 countries, including Turkey, some countries -- Ukraine, the UK, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moldova, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Hungary, Armenia, and Bulgaria -- signed the document but have yet to ratify.
The EU signed the convention on June 13, 2017, while Council of Europe members Russia and Azerbaijan did not.
*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara