Turkey is sending the wrong messages to the European Union by withdrawing from a pact designed to counter violence against women and closing down the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Monday.
“What we have seen in the last few days, the ban of the HDP and particularly the pullout of the Istanbul Convention, are absolutely the wrong signals,” Maas said as he arrived for a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.
In the conflict between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, meanwhile, there were signs of a de-escalation, Maas added. The EU had threatened Ankara with sanctions last year after a flare-up of the decades-old dispute.
“Regarding Turkey, there is light and shadow,” Maas said. “We will have to discuss these mixed signals coming from Turkey today, and we will continue to aim for an ongoing dialogue – and we will use this dialogue to address issues where we believe Turkey is sending the wrong signals.”
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has called Turkey’s abandonment of an international agreement aimed at preventing violence against women “deeply disappointing.”
In a White House statement posted Sunday, Biden said Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention was “sudden and unwarranted.”