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Home arrow newsitems arrow Turkey's CoE chair starts by Stoping Monitoring ECHR-ordered Enquiry on Journalist Adali Murder ?!

Turkey's CoE chair starts by Stoping Monitoring ECHR-ordered Enquiry on Journalist Adali Murder ?!

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 06 July 2010

On the 2010 Anniversary of the cold-blood Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist Kutlu Adali,  in the Territories of Cyprus still occupied by Ankara's Army since a 1974 Military Invasion after a short-lived coup linked to former Colonels' chunta in Athens, (jailed since then),  his Family and Friends vainly denounced the fact that, despite a 2005 ECHR Judgement condeming Turkey for lack of any efficient Investigation to find and punish those responsible for the killing, still, 14 Years later, neither Turkey itself, nor the Ankara-supported illegal Occupation regime, hasn't found yet nobody to blame for the Brutal Crime committed with five bullets fired at the Journalists Head...

Because, meanwhile, the forthcoming Turkish rotating CoE Chairmanship, (November 2010 - May 2011), had already started, immediately after the traditional take-over of the Committee of Ministers' Human Rights meetings' Presidency  6 Months earlier (May - November 2010), by being Marked, since its 1st  trimestrial Session on June 2010, with the Adoption of  Resolution putting paradoxically ... an End to its general Duty to Monitor the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements in the case of Adali's murder !

This astonishing Fact, which obviously aggravates inevitable fears about Journalists' Freedom of Expression when CoE's Ministers' rotating Chairmanship is due to be, from November 2010,  fully entrusted to Turkey, wih its notoriously Bad Record on this area, (considering the outstanding Number of ECHR Condemnations of Ankara's Authorities' frequently Negative Practice vis a vis various Critical Media), was, indeed, confirmed to "EuroFora" by  3 Experienced CoE Officials and Diplomats, who were, however, both ...Unable to tell us of any Important New Development which might be serious enough to eventually claim that Turkey could have really brought recently into light some conveincing Evidence that it would have fully met its Obligation to make Efficient and Transparent Investigations in order to shed Light on the Circonstances and the Motives of Adali's Murder, find out and bring to Justice for due Punishement the Perpetrators of the Killing and the Instigators.

Adali was known mainly as a Critic of Ankara's policies on Massive Imports of Turkish Settlers from Anatolia to the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, which has been twice denounced by CoE's Assembly and Ministers in the Past as risking to provoke  a "Political Obstacle" to Peace and ReUnification in Cyprus, by "Altering" the Demographic Composition of the area, since they progressively replacing not only Greek Cypriot Refugees, obliged to flee their Ancestral Land/ Family Homes, but even of genuine Turkish Cypriots themselves, who risk to become a Minority after being outnumbered by incoming Turkish Settlers, in the context of a Systematic "Ethnic Cleansing" orchestrated in a Foreign Land by the Occupying Power, in a way similar to what  International Penal Court's statute clearly denounces as "War Crimes"...

Despite a 2008 CoE Committee of Ministers' call upon Turkey to make a New Investigation on Adali's Murder, according to its obligation to implement ECHR's 2005 Judgement, on the contrary, Ankara apparently didn't really do anything more than to simply repeat its Old Claim that it would have "tried", but "couldn't" ever find out Nothing about the Criminals and their Motives, and that's all !  But, at one of the Rare detailed Discussions of this Case, with an exchange of Documents citting Concrete Facts and Arguments inside CoE's Committee of Ministers, a few years ago, it had become obvious that, in reality, Turkey had Never done Real Efforts to  seriously Investigate Adali's Murder  in an Effective and Transparent way, so that ECHR's Judgement condemning Ankara remained both justified and topically outstanding. Nevertheless,  instead of pressuring Turkey to take the required action in order to respect, at last, ECHR's Judgement, on the contrary, on June 2010 appeared this astonishing and unexplained yet June 2010  decision to ..Stop Monitoring Adali's Murder, immediately after Turkey took over the rotating Chair of CoE's Committee of Ministers' Human Rights trimestrial Sessions (See supra), for reasons which remain Unknown to the Public...

Curiously, Adali Murder's File would have been reportedly closed on June 2010 inside CoE's Committee of Ministers ...without any Debate, merely via a "Silent" procedure, practically hidden and burried as a simple Number in the middle of a Long List of various other, hetericlite and usually "anodynous", non-controversial banal cases with many Draft "Resolutions" submitted by CoE's Secretariat and automatically considered.. implicitly "decided" by ..."tacit approval" (i.e. unless enough CoE Member States' Diplomats are Timely alerted on a specific issue hidden among Hundreds of various others, usually lenient cases, and manage to react strongly enough on Time, before it becomes too late in such Bureaucratic procedures), as "EuroFora" found out by CoE's sources... 


But this is in obviously in Blatant Contradiction with an absolutely Differend attitude inside CoE's Committee of Ministers vis a vis the similar case of another Critical, Investigative Journalist's Brutal Murder :  That of Gongadze in Ukraine, (on which ECHR issued a Judgement asking the same things, exactly in the Same Year as on Adali's Murder case : on 2005 !), where CoE's body has been until know constantly asking from the Ukranian Authorities and pressuring them to pursue further theirs Investigations, despite the fact that Ukraine has already found, arrested, judged and condemned to 10 Years in Jail two Perpetretors of Journalist Gongadze's Murder, and recently arrested a 3rd Suspect, accused to have organized the Killing, while also accepting even the active Intervention of Foreign Experts from USA's FBI, etc. in Ukraine's own National Investigation, which continues in order to try to  complete its findings by arriving also up to a possible Mastermind or main Instigator...

Keep such Opposed attitudes in these two cases of Journalists' Murders, Gongadze and Adali, (both based on ECHR Judgements issued the same year 2005 and asking the same thing : to do an Efficient Investigation),  by persisting to pressure Ukraine, which has already found and punished 3 Suspects and opened up its Enquiry even to Foreign Scrutiny, while ....absolving Turkey, which didn't yet find, nor punished anyone at all for Adali's killing, would inevitably and obviously risk to appear as if a lobby searched to impose inside CoE a practice of  Double Standards , which would be Detrimental to the Moral Authority of Strasbourg's Human Rights' Organization !

Ukraine is due to take over CoE's rotating Chairmanship shortly after Turkey's turn will end.


The Contradiction which surfaced this Summer, was recently Highlighted also by an Exceptional PanEuropean-International Event at the CoE in Strasbourg, on the occasion of an Exhbition on "Freedom of Expression and Journalists' Safety", co-organized by the Swedish Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives to UNESCO and CoE, as well as the European Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, and CoE Assembly's Rapporteur on Press Freedom, British  Socialist MEP Andrew McIntosh, Chairman of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education, as well as the Experienced CoE's Director on Human Rights' and Legal Standards, Jan Kleijssen from Austria  :

- CoE Human Rights' Commissioner Hammarberg, strongly denounced mainly the "Impunity" of Criminals and all those Responsible for Brutal Aggressions, Harassment, Threats and other attempts to Intimidate and Muzzle Journalists, stressing the Need for Justice to be done in order to prevent also more such Crimes against the Freedom of Expression and Press to be committed in the Future. (See parts of Hammarberg's a.o.'s original remarks, already sent to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors earlier).

    Mats Ringborg, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sweden to UNESCO and OECD in Paris, who spoke at the "Journalist's Freedom and Safety" CoE event, was interested to ask concrete information on Adali's murder ECHR case, and promised to examine the possibility to eventually include it in the framework of General Issues of Principles and International Tools for this kind of matters,  currently discussed at the UNESCO, as he said to "EuroFora" on the sidelines of the event organised mainly by the experienced out-going Swedish Ambassador/Pemanent Representative to the CoE, Per Sjögren, discreetly active during the 2008 Swedish CoE Presidency together with Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who is due to continue supervising CoE's Human Rights issues after he takes over the Direction of Swedish Diplomacy's Legal Services, as he indicated later to "EuroFora". 


By an astonishingly Symbolic Coincidence, the Exhibition at the CoE focused on an Eye-catching, Huge Panel prepared by New York based "Committee to Protect Journalist", which dressed an impressive Synthesis of various Violent Aggressions, Persecutions, Murders, etc. committed against Journalists all over the World since ...1997 : I.e. precisely since the Year that the affair of Adali's Murder started officially at the ECHR, when the Victim's Wife, Ilkay Adali, lodged an Application against Turkey in Strasbourg's Court, which became the "Case No 38187/97"..


- "Adali, a political columnist with the leftist newspaper Yeni Duzen in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, was fatally shot in front of his home. He had written critically about .... immigration policies enabling Turkish nationals ... in Cyprus. A little-known group called the Turkish Revenge Brigade claimed responsibility for his assassination, but he had also received threats for a recent investigative report on an antiquities heist said to involve a Turkish general", reminds from N.Y.C. the "Committee to Protect Journalists" website until now (July 2010).

- "Suspected Source of Fire: Paramilitary Group. Impunity: Yes", the experienced International NGO on Press Freedom and Safety, "CPJ" concludes.


Adding to such Timely "Coincidences", the Author of CoE/UNESCO Exhibition's Panel : New York heaquartered, international "Committee to Protect Journalists", had been actively involved in the Adali Murder affair, when "EuroFora"s co-Founder, (who has been following the case and Publishing various Exclusive News on it all over between 1996 and 2010), alerted the CPJ Official then in charge of Europe/Asia affairs, after revealing in 2000, (on the base of a Research in ECHR's Full, Original Files of the case, available only in Strasbourg per request on the spot), that the Victim's Wife, Ilkay, had repeatedly protested at EuroJudges for being harassed, often together with their unique Daughter, and pressured in order to "Drop" her application on her Husband's Murder !


Another "Symbolic Coincidence" was also the fact that the CoE/UNESCO Exhibition alerting on the need to protect Journalists' Safety and Freedom had been Timely set up ....right in front of the door of CoE's Committee of Ministers,  whose incoming rotating Chair is Turkey (See supra), and where an Astonishing Resolution had just been taken on June to Stop even Monitoring Turkey's persisting Failure to comply with ECHR's 2005 Judgement condemning Ankara for Lack of any Efficient Investigation on Adali's Murder (See also supra)..

Artfully pushing this move further, even in a Comic-Tragic way, a Choir formed by CoE's staff had the Bright Idea to orchestrate a "Musical-Theatrical" happening, in front of CoE/UNESCO's Exhibition denouncing Aggressions and Threats against critical Journalists' Safety/Freecom, and CoE's Committee of Ministers' Door, where they marked a Popular Success with many Smiles and Applause among numerous  bystanders by Singing a Comic/Satirical Song about .."All that Rain (which) is falling upon us !", and wisely holding Huge ...Ombrella's, (as if to timely protect People from even more astonishing things than putting practically an End to the Investigation of a non-elycidated Murder of Journalist), shortly before Turkey takes over CoE's CM., only a few meters away !...

It seems that this Song with Ombrellas was particularly appreciated by those who had experienced on June's Human Rights session Turkish Ambassador's reportedly loud cries and anger, exceptionally Upset, accusing many people and threatening with various consequences, before taking the unprecedented decision to order a collective ..withdrawal of all the Turkish Delegation at CoE's Committee of Ministers, right behind that White Door seen at "EuroFora"s picture above, simply because he had vainly asked from the CoE to .. "close" even more Human Rights files, concerning some among the most serious Violations condemned by ECHR's case-law , which has traditionally developed for Decades certain landmark Principles mirrored also Worldwide by UNO's Human Rights' bodies, (f.ex. against usurpation of Family Homes and private Properties, etc. of Refugees and Displaced Persons who are still illegaly hindered to return to their Ancestral Land, etc)...

-  "Though fourteen years have passed since the assassination, the culprits have not been arrested, nor has evidence about the case come to light", reportedly denounced Turkish Cypriot Daily "Africa" Newspaper on the 14th Anniversary of the Assassination of Journalist Kutlu Adali outside his House on 6 July 1996.

Meanwhile, a Ceremony was organized this Tuesday by the "Adali Foundation" and the "Yeni Duzen" Newspaper, where the Victim had been working at the time. The Organizers' Spokesman, Burhan Eraslan, stressed that Adali was supporting Peace and Democracy in Cyprus, denouncing the fact that this Murder case, like other similar cases, hasn't been resolved yet.


There are at least 3 probable Political Motives behind Adali's Brutal Murder, according to various sources, which are all convergent and even linked together, both logically and Timely :

1) His long-standing denunciation of Turkish Settlers' massive, systematic influx in Cyprus' Territories Occupied by Ankara's Military, where they progressively replace real Turkish Cypriots, while also notoriously usurpating Greek Cypriot Refugees' Family Homes and/or ancestral Land, threatening to add a New Political Obstacle to the ReUnification of Cyprus, as CoE has repeatedly warned.


2) A recent denunciation that the Victim had been just investigating shortly before he was murdered, against a  Christian Monastery's destruction and looting, reportedly linked with a Military Commander of the Turkish Occupation Army : 


- "Adali, .., was murdered in front of his Home on 6 July 1996, soon after he had published a story saying that a former senior Officer of the Turkish Army in Cyprus had been involved in an attack on a Monastery, and reporting the misuse of civilian vehicles belonging to the Defence ministry".

"Nobody has dared to give evidence about the murder, which remains unsolved.", denounced Paris-based International NGO "Reporters without Borders" in 2002.  


3)  Adali's forthcoming personal Testimony at ECHR's Hearing on the "Cyprus v. Turkey" InterState case, (which covered a wide spectrum of Human Rights Violations, spreading from usurpation of Refugees' Homes and Land, to "Missing" Persons' kidnaping, Torture, Killings, etc, with persisting scandalous Impunity of all Perpetrators of such horrible Crimes and Inhuman/Degrading Treatment of Victims' Families kept in the dark by Turkey, refusing to give any information to them on what really happened to their beloved ones (fex. Husbands, Sons, Brothers, Kids, etc ., many of whom had even been detained in Turkish mainland Prisons, whose Archives still remain Secret !), as it had been scheduled in Strasbourg at the time of the murder (Summer 1996).


--Just a few Months ago, in 2009, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) officially "demanded that the Turkish government and the authorities in the north of Cyprus renew their investigation into the killing of journalist Kutlu Adali who is thought to have been targeted by Turkish security agents or unknown assassins of the administration in the northern part of Cyprus".

- "This case must not be closed until justice has been delivered,"  reportedly said Arne Konig, President of the EFJ.

This crucial point has been repeatedly stressed also by the Experienced, long-time Secretary General of the International/European Federation of Journalists, Aidan White himself, speaking at various occasions to "EuroFora,  the latest on Adali being on November 2009 : - "They (CoE's Committee of Ministers) must not Stop" Monitoring, but, on the contrary, "continue" to push for fresh and efficient Investigations until the Truth is found on this Journalist's murder as in any other similar case, White replied to an "EuroFora" Question, on the sidelines of a Speech on "Press Freedom" at a CoE event organized in Strasbourg together with various French and other Professional Associations of Journalists.


- "It is a Scandal that so many Years after a Brutal and targeted Assassination, there is an Attempt to Quietly Close the File", König had warned. On the contrary, "Turkey and the authorities in the north of Cyprus must take their Responsibility and put New Efforts into finding the Killers."

- "The shadow of Injustice, impunity and Scandalous disregard for the Rights of Journalists hangs over this case and this must be put right," said König.



   -  EU Parliament's Rapporteur on Turkey's controversial EU bid, Dutch ChristianDemocrat MEP Ria Oomen-Rujtens, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that if Ankara really persisted to fail  to conduct an efficient investigation into  journalist's murder at the Territories of Cyprus occupied by its Army, this "could be" included in her forthcoming 2010 Draft paper scheduled "fcr October", and did "not exclude" that, if she received meanwhile more concrete informations, that it might eventually be cited also in the draft EU Resolution due to be voted by MEPs.


    Other Parallel, Converging Moves might, eventually, be done also by CoE's PanEuropean Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg (but only in a General framework of Principles' respect in various similar cases raising issues of Journalists' Safety and Freedom all over Europe), and/or CoE Assembly's Rapporteur on Human Rights' Defenders, German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Holger Haibach, even if the most Normal thing to do would obviously be to seriously examine Adali's Murder in the framework of CoE Assembly's long-time Rapporteur on Journalists' Safety and Freedom, Chairman McIntosh (comp. supra).   


    Meanwhile, the President of CoE Assembly's Legal and Human Rights' Committee, experienced ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Christos Pourgourides, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that in the context of his forthcoming New Report on ECHR Judgements' Execution, the issue of Adali's non-elucidated Murder, in relation to which, Turkey was strongly condemned by ECHR,  should, normally, be raised and seriously discussed, together witr all other outstanding cases of Journalists' Killings throughout all CoE's Member States (including f.ex. at Nortrhern Caucasus, in Russia,  inside Turkey itself, etc), particularly after the recent Positive developments on the Gongadze murder case (See supra), "as a matter of General Principle", and in order to avoid "Double Standards".


    But, according to the latest available information at our knowledge, Turkey remained the LAST CoE Membe State with outstanding, and not-implemented yet, ECHR Judgements Condemning for Grave Violations of Human Rights,  which still persists to fail to agree a Date for a Monitoring Visit by CoE's Rapporteur on the Execution of ECHR's Judgements, as President Pourgourides himself acknowledged in reply to an "EuroFora"'s question...

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