Turk President Tayyip Erdogan pulled his country out of an international accord designed to protect women, the official gazette said on Saturday.

Turkey joined the Council of Europe accord in 2011 which was signed in Istanbul. The accord pledged to prevent, prosecute and eliminate domestic violence and promote equality.

There was a rise in femicide in Turkey last year. It pulled out of the accord despite calls from campaigners.

No reason was given for the withdrawal, but officials in Erdogan’s ruling AK Party had said last year the government was considering to pull out amid a row over how to curb growing violence against women.

Many conservatives in Turkey see the pact undermines family structures and encourages violence.

Critics of the withdrawal from the pact have said it would put Turkey further out of step with the values of the European Union, which it remains a candidate to join.

Turkey is not the first country to pull out of the pact. Poland’s highest court scrutinised the pact after a cabinet member called to quit the treaty which the nationalist government considered too liberal.

Turkey does not keep official statistics on femicide. World Health Organisation data has shown 38 percent of women in Turkey are subject to violence from a partner in their lifetime, compared to about 25 percent in Europe.

Ankara has taken steps such as tagging individuals known to resort to violence and creating a smartphone app for women to alert police, which has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.


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