EU asks Turkey to rethink exit from women's rights treaty

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Mar 22, 2021, 06:57 PM IST

(File photo) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photograph:(Reuters)

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EU's foreign policy chief said that Turkey's exit sent a wrong message to the world

The European Union on Sunday (Indian time) urged Turkey to reverse its decision to withdraw from Istanbul Convention on women's rights. The treaty has been designed to prevent violence against women.

"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. This decision risks compromising the protection and fundamental rights of women and girls in Turkey," said Josep Borrell, EU's foreign policy chief in a statement.

"The Istanbul Convention is the first international legally binding instrument to combat violence against women and domestic violence. It aims at ensuring essential legal protection to women and girls across the world. This is today more important than ever, as violence against women and girls has increased to new levels worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and of the many conflicts, where women are primary victims. We, therefore, cannot but urge Turkey to reverse its decision," he said further

Borrell said that Turkey's decision sent a dangerous message across the world. The Istanbul Convention is EU-backed human rights accord. Turkey was the first country to ratify the convention. It was adopted in Istanbul in 2011. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government declared Turkey's exit from the accord on March 20.