EU urges Turkey to return to the Istanbul Convention | Free press

Turkey’s withdrawal from an agreement to protect women has sparked outrage. Turkey urgently needs to reconsider this step, advises the EU’s foreign policy representative.

Brussels / Istanbul (dpa) – EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell has asked Turkey to reverse its withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

The convention aims to prevent and combat violence against women. Turkey left on Saturday. “We hope that Turkey will soon join the European Union to defend the rights of women and girls, a fundamental element of human rights, peace, security and equality in the 21st century,” Borrell said on Sunday.

Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, also stressed on Twitter: “Violence against women is unacceptable. Women deserve a strong legal framework to protect them. I support the Istanbul Convention and call on all signatories to ratify it. Borrell in his statement expressed complete misunderstanding of the exit. This endangers the protection and fundamental rights of women in Turkey and is a dangerous message around the world.

The Istanbul Convention is an international agreement drawn up by the Council of Europe in 2011. It must create a European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women. Current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself had signed the convention in Istanbul, the site of the last deliberations.

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