Turkey's withdrawal from women's treaty sparks outrage

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Ankara [Turkey], March 21 (ANI): Turkey has sparked worldwide outrage after it withdrew from the world's first binding treaty to prevent violence against women, Al Jazeera reported.

Ankara pulled out from the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention, which aims to reduce and prevent domestic abuse against women.

Turkey was the first country to ratify the Council of Europe's convention, which was adopted in Istanbul in 2011. The treaty earlier had 45 signatories plus the EU.

Europe's rights body, the Council of Europe, criticized Turkey's withdrawal from a treaty it sponsored and expressed concern about global efforts to protect women and girls.

"This move is a huge setback to these efforts and all the more deplorable because it compromises the protection of women in Turkey, across Europe and beyond," said Council of Europe secretary-general Marija Pejcinovic Buric in a statement.

"The Istanbul Convention covers 34 European countries and is widely regarded as the gold standard in international efforts to protect women and girls from the violence that they face every day in our societies," she added.

French Foreign Ministry also expressed regret over Turkey's decision to leave the EU-backed Istanbul Convention on women's rights.

"France deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities to withdraw from the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention, when Turkey was the first country to ratify it in 2011," the ministry said in a statement.

Women's rights are guaranteed by Turkey's domestic legislation, Turkey's Family, Labour and Social Services Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk said on Twitter while defending the country's decision. (ANI)