"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," Borrell said.
The foreign policy chief of the EU further said that Turkey's decision sends a dangerous message across the world while stressing that the rights of women and girls are a fundamental element of equality and security in the 21st century.
"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," Borrell remarked.
Earlier, Ankara pulled out from the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention, which aims to reduce and prevent domestic abuse against women.