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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN Head Ban Ki Moon starts 2nd mandate on "Enhanced" test on Cyprus issue on crucial EU- Turkey era

UN Head Ban Ki Moon starts 2nd mandate on "Enhanced" test on Cyprus issue on crucial EU- Turkey era

Written by ACM
Thursday, 07 July 2011



*Geneva/Palais des Nations/Angelo Marcopolo/- The next few Months may prove to be a Crucial Test more for UNO's own role in the World, than for Cyprus' issue itself, if we judge by the unusual, but very interesting context in which UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon anounced a kind of RoadMap to Cyprus' President Demetres Christofias and to the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community, Dervis Eroglou, after holding a 3rd Summit at the UNOG, prepared by his Cyprus' Envoy, former Foreign Minister from Australia, Alexander Downer :

Indeed, Ban Ki Moon, who has just been re-elected for a period of 5 more years, "ending only on 2016", as he later told Journalists, including "EuroFora", in Geneva, at another occasion, (See other "EuroFora" NewsReports from UNOG), is personaly placed in an Ideal position in order to prove whether the .. "UN do not exist, as such", but "only States", as an experienced American former UN Official had stressed a long time ago at the CoE in Strasbourg, (and some, still believe today), or, whether, UNO can really became able to exist, develop and make respect at least some basic Principles and Values, and "Think Big", as its present Secretary General told Journalists, including "EuroFora", at a Press point, later this Evening, after a landmark Speech to the UN's ECOSOC Assembly, exceptionally meeting in Geneva this year (See relecvant "EuroFora"s NewsReport).


That's obviously because Ban Ki Moon is now able to act, in the  framework of his competences,  as he thinks best for the General Interest of the International Community, which has been entrusted to him, independently of any eventual Pressure or Threat by any State(s), and, therefore, can tackle the prospect of an "Enhanced" UN role on the notoriously thorny Cyprus' issue, (a "hard nut to crack" for more than 35 Years), as he has just asked to do, reportedly obtaining the agreement of both parties.
- UNO's SG Rightfuly denounced a "Far Too Slow" "progress of Negotiations" between the New Turkish Cypriot Community's leader, Dervis Eroglou, and Cyprus' President, Demitris Christofias, in 2011, since even "some Important Areas have Not been Touched yet", as he criticized, (apparently pointing at the Territory-sharing and Security Guarantees' issues, notoriously kept by Turkey for the last stage : Comp. also President Christofias' Reply to "EuroFora"s Question on the Guarantees issue, when he visited the CoE in Strasbourg, back on 2008, initially published in full only in the Greek language version of our Multilingual Newsite). "On both sides the Public has become Weary", he regretted.

- That's why, in this regard, Ban Ki Moon, also righfully, "raised with both leaders the importance of Looking Ahead at the Objective, rather than focusing on the problem in minute detail", that being "the Commitment of both sides to agree on the details to create a United Cyprus", as he repeatedly stressed, adding that "the Parameters of the Agreement that we are striving to reach (are) as set out in relevant (UNO) Security Council Resolutions", and chosing even to conlude his Press Statement by pointing at "the compromises required for a Settlement and the prospect of Living Together in a United Cyprus".

- That's why we "must ReNew Hope and Enthousiasm for a Solution" on Cyprus' ReUnification, UNO's SG stressed with voluntarism, while fiding also that, "for this reason, Today's Meeting (in Geneva) has been Useful and Productive", as he said.
But, perhaps, in fact, the most intringuing point emerging now also Officially in Public from the July 2011 Geneva UNO Top Cyprus' meeting is that of TIME :

- The bi-communal Talks started by Christofias since he took over on 2008, (changing the previous stance of former Cyprus' President Tassos Papadopoulos that Direct Talks should start only when UNO would attest that the two parties might have come close enough to have "a common ground" for the process to have a real Chance to succeed), were explicitly based also on the Principle that there will be no more strict "Time Deadlines imposed" to the parties concerned, (contrary to what had provoked a 2004 Failure of the controversial 5th version of a UN Secretariat Draft in the Past), and this seems to be still accepted by Ban Ki Moon today f.ex. when he speaks of "Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned Negotiations", "aiming to reach a comprehensive Solution as Soon as possible".

- But, on the contrary, the July 2001 Ban Ki Moon's statement, (reportedly read on the basis of some "Talking Points" earlier drafted by his Envoy, former Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer), goes on to add also his "expectation that by October (2011) the leaders (of Cyprus' Communities) will be able to .. reach.. Convergence on all Core Issues", so that "this will take the Cyprus' Negotiations close to their Conclusion". "It would also pave the way for ... a Final, International Conference", as he anounced.

This inevitably raised immediately question marks in most Cyprus' politicians and people, as well as independent observers. Not because of UN Head's comprehensible wish to incite Progress on solving Cyprus' issue, which appears legitimate (Comp. supra), but in relation with Ankara's well known anxiety to to try to impose, at any price,
What's the real reason for Turkey's "Submit or Crash" push on UN Cyprus' talks ?
On TIME Deadlines, Turkey, after notoriously delaying any solution to Cyprus' issue for more than 3 Decades, suddenly started to desperately search to impose a make-shift, shaky deal, tailor-made for Ankara's selfish interests, apparently anxious of Cyprus' EU entry, prepared since 1990, but developed and realized between 1998-2004.

Now, the new fixation point is, for Ankara, July 2012, when EU Member Cyprus will take over the rotating EU Council's Presidency. Turkey claims that this might freeze EU - Ankara relations, but, in fact, Cyprus' policy is, on the contrary, in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, simply because Nicosia still believes that EU might oblige Turkey to at least respect some elementary Principles, if it wants to advance towards EU Membership.

At any case, a Strandstill in EU - Turkey Negotiations has, notoriously, already appeared, more than 1 Year earlier than that, as both EU Commissioners, various other rotating EU Presidencies, and even French President Sarkozy has recently observed, (f.ex. during his latest visit to Ankara as G 20 Chairman), proposing to the Turkish Government to better drop officially its controversial and unpopualr EU bid, and, instead, strike a deal with the EU for another kind of close relationship.

+ For all these reasons, in fact, it obviously can't be true that Ankara might really "fear" Cyprus' EU rotating chair (7-12/2012).. The truth, indeed, on the real cause for Turkey's sudden eagerness to irresponsibly push towards a "Pass or Crash" behavior from UN Secretariat on Cyprus' talks, (obvious in almost all recent Statements by Turkish Authorities, who routinelly repeat, nowadays, that a Deal has to be brokered on Cyprus' issue, at any price, before July 2012, otherwise, UNO should conclude that there is No Solution at all, and definitively Stop seaking Cyprus' ReUnification), seems to be absolutely differend :

- In fact, the only way to find a logical Explanation of Ankara's, otherwise strange, behavior, is to observe that, apparently, Turkey tries to ..exploit, to the detriment of the EU, a controversial concession reportedly made to the Turkish side by the current President of Cyprus, Christofias, (a former "Communist", reconverted in a kind of Socialist Left), who has accepted, without even warning his voters before his 2008 Election, a "Rotating" Presidency in a Future United Cyprus, between Representatives of the initially 18% Minority of Turkish Cypriots, and of the initially 78% Majority of Greek Cypriots (as things stood until the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of the Island), i.e. something which is not only contrary to the Democratic principle, but, moreover, doesn't exist in any other "Federal" State in the World, (with the only Exception, eventually, of Switzerland, which is obviously an extremely rare, if not unique case); but only in mere Con-federal links between Separate, independent States, (f.ex. in the Pre-Civil War USA confederal, loose links, etc.).

+ Moreover, in the case of Cyprus, this could naturally provoque a Paradoxical situation, which would impose to EU Countries a ... Turkish President, (f.ex. a person of Turkish ethnic origin, language, culture and links), as early as since July 2012, without even having consulted neither EU Citizens, not even EU Heads of State/Government, neither anyone else inside the EU, ...

This would obviously have a Devastating Mediatic and political Impact against all those EU Leaders who refuse Turkey's controversial and Unpopular EU bid. In other words, Ankara, in fact, attempts to Exploit Cyprus' EU rotating Chair, scheduled for July 2012, in order to push its own Aim to enter inside the EU, even if EU Citizens notoriously don't want Turkey to be disguissed as if it was already a full EU Member, by hidding itself behind an Ankara-supported illegal Occupation regime's  politician, "leader No 2 of Cyprus", who would speak Turkish, be of Turkish Culture and Ethnic origin, be suported by Ankara's Military and Funds, and, therefore, serve Turkey's own Interests...

I.e., it's not true that Turkey might be "afraid" of Cyprus' rotating EU chair. On the contrary, the truth is that Ankara  attempts to exploit Cyprus' rotating EU chair, in order to push its own, selfish interests, and controversial, unpopular EU bid, even to the detriment of a really Peaceful and Sustainable Solution of Cyprus' ReUnification, and even to the detriment of EU itself...

=> So, if there is to be any Time-related Mark imposed on UNO Cyprus' Talks, for the sake of both attaigning a Really Sustainable Peaceful Solution of Cyprus' ReUnification issue, and of EU interests itself, this should better be the Opposite : Not before (as Ankara asks), but only AFTER the July-December 2012 Cyprus' EU Chairmanship, (i.e. in 2013-2014) !
On the UN-sponsored Cyprus' Process itself,

Greek Cypriot sources, speaking to "EuroFora", noted as more important point of this July 2011 Geneva UNO meeting on Cyprus, the fact that the Peace Talks' process remains of "Cypriot ownership" and "without imposed Arbitration nor Time Deadlines", as well as "based on UN Security Council Resolutions", despite an "Enhanced UN Involvement", proposed by Ban Ki Moon and accepted by both communities' leaders, which might include also the presentation of concrete suggestions or proposals by UNO's Officials, even if final decisions still depend on the agreement of both parties directly concerned.

However, Opposition Critics, from various political directions in Cyprus, immediately started to denounce a perceived risk for some inside UNO's Secretariat to unilaterally take again the heavy responsibility to impose, in one way or another, what they might think as a preferable solution on Cyprus, passing over the concerned people's heads, if not also over UN and/or EU/CoE principles at least partly, and that, inside more or less Tight, Rigid Time Deadlines, as Ankara asks, suddenly anxious in particular to prevent Cyprus July-December 2012 rotating EU Presidency, in contradiction, however, with the facty that several Turkish Governments have, meanwhile, persistently obstructed any solution and refused UNO, CoE and EU Resolutions' calls to withdraw Turkey's Occupation Troops from Cyprus for more than 35 Years (1974-2011)..

Cyprus must not be condemned, in practice, to a kind of blackmail threatening to impose either a Partition or Turkey's desiderata, mainly through a previous Anglosaxon axis, perceived as traditionally closer to the Turkish positions, instead of those of Cyprus, often supported by the EU, Russia, China, etc, nor to Hasty moves to impose any kind of Deal just in order to "finish with it", without seriously considering the real issues, and/or by totally or partially disregarding Human Rights and UN SC's basic Principles for Cyprus' real ReUnification in a lasting and sustainable Peace, most critics say, anxious that external interferences and pressure might influence the way that UNO Secretariat's role might evolve during the next few Months.
Concerning the Susbtantial issues,

An initially "Tabou" issue, that of a Trade-off between Greek Cypriot Refugees' and Displaced Persons' Human Rights to their Family Homes, private Properties and to return to their Ancestral Land, from one side, and Territory-sharing between the two future federated entities, under predominantly Turkish Cypriot or Greek Cypriot governance, apparently took a special importance at this, July 2011, UNOG meeting on Cyprus.

+ Turkish sources, speaking to "EuroFora", claimed that Eroglou would have reduced his previous refusal of Christofias proposal for a compromise between Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Rights and Turkish- Occupied Territory, by accepting to consider it, but without agreeing to go as far as to start discussing in this regard also the Geographic Tracing of "Borders" between the two future federated entities due to compose the planned Cyprus' Federal State, (since they reportedly still refuse to negotiate on a Map).  

However, Greek Cypriot sources downplayed the issue claiming that this wasn't really new, but already evoked in the Past, with the previous Turkish Cypriot leader Talat.
At any case, Greek Cypriot sources point, in this regard, with careful hopes to Ban Ki Moon's statement asking to "find a Way through the Difficult Core Issues", "expecting" from them to "reach .. Convergence on All Core Issues", i.e. apparently also by making eventual Combinations between them (f.ex. Refugees and Territory, etc. See supra).
In fact, Turkey, the Occupying Foreign Power, is the Last actor in the world which might accuse Cyprus, an EU Member Country still irregularly semi-occupied by Ankara's Military, to eventually refuse UN rules, considering the Fact that, already back on 2001, both the then Turkish Cypriot Leader (Rauf Denktash) and Ankara's Government, had openly and officially Refused even to accept a UNO Secretary General's invitation to start Peace and ReUnification Talks in New York on September 12, 2001.  

It was only the sudden appearance of the ill-elucidated Mass Terrorist Massacre of some 3.000 innocent People at New York's World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, etc., just one Day before the UNO's Rendez-vous on Cyprus : on September 11, 2001, which practivally saved Turkey, at the last minute, (hindering the then Cyprus' President Glafcos Clerides' Airplane, which had arrived already in North America, from coming to New York), from an otherwise inevitable UNO and EU Sanction against such a totally Negative stance, motivated by Ankara's refusal to accept an explicit UN reference to UNO Security Council's Resolutions as being the Basis for the Solution to Cyprus' issue, (as Turkish diplomats had been repeatedly Threatening, since 2000, to Stop any Cyprus' Talks if UNO based them on UN SC's Resolutions : Blackmail denounced also by a "Secret" Letter from Clerides to EU Parliament's President since 2.000).

"EuroFora"s co-founders' persistent Questions, between 2000 and 2001, both on EU rotating Presidencies (f.ex. Sweden, when even the earlier sympathetic former Foreign Minister Anna Lindt appeared astonishingly nervous and totally Unable to reply to our simple and crystal-clear question if "EU supported UN SC Resolutions as Basis for Cyprus Talks, or not", telling us only that "I can't reveal in Public what is going on in Talks which are supposed to be Confidential", and, therefore, Secret), and, mainly, to the then UNO's Secretary General Kofi Annan, (who, despite kindly giving us a long and interesting Reply on other points, nevertheless, suprisingly, totally abstained from any Answer to the specific point of our Question on UN SC Resolutions), revealing at least an "obscur" stance on that Crucial Political and Human Rights point, had incited, (after several Reactions by various Top Political Personalities in Cyprus, Greece and elsewhere, including in the UN, which found its Top Decision-making body Dangerously Humiliated by the Turkish Refusal of its New York decisions), the UN to make their stance crystal-clear on August 2001 :

- Former UNO's Secretary General Koffi Annan's official Letter inviting Cyprus' leaders to the September 12, 2001 New York Peace Talks, indeed, explicitly asked them to come for Talks based on UN SC Resolutions, triggering the Turkish side's blatant Refusal, which was only covered-up, at the last minute, by 9/11 Massacre, reportedly master-minded by a Pakistani immigrant in Hamourg, Germany, Attas, known for being close to the Secret Services of Pakistan's Military, which notoriously keep close links to the Turkish Military.

But, the very Same Day of September 11, 2001, while WTC Towers were burning at New York, in a Phone Call we made to the experienced CoE's then Rapporteur on Cyprus' issue, long-time powerful President of CoE Assembly's Political Committee, Hungarian f. Minister Andras Barsony, (Socialist party), we were surprised to suddenly hear from such a Key personality on the PanEuropean and International ramifications of Cyprus' issue and EU/CoE-Turkey relations then, that, "after what happened today (9/11) the Cyprus issue will be "Freezed" for some time, and, afterwards, it will start again, but on an entirely New Basis" !...

These Barsony's progostics, apparently, proved Prophetic : Indeed, Turkey astonishingly escaped (thanks to the 9/11 Massacre, which covered up other Topical issues) from any UNO and/or EU Sanction for its blatant  Refusal even to accept a UNO Secretary General's official Invitation to start Peace/ReUnification Talks on Cyprus on September 12, 2001 (See supra), and, later-on, between 2002-2004, for the first time, differend, controversial Versions of a UN Secretariat's Draft Plan, emerged, (mainly led by a Brittish Diplomat earlier Ambassador to Turkey, and speaking Turkish, but not Greek, who seemed also at least indirectly related with some networks, including even .. homonymes, perhaps relatives, involved with Oil/Gas issues such as Discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico, of similar Geologic Structure as that of Cyprus' South-Eastern Mediterranean Surroundings : He was dismissed and replaced, after his Plan failed, by former UN SG Koffi Annan himself, who replaced him with Ismael Gabari, an obviously more Objective UN Officer, who had already succesfully overseen South Africa's Historic End of Appartheid)..
    But, as some Experienced Danish a.o. sources, familiar to Turkey's "Deep State", had aleady warned "EuroFora" a long time ago, after controversial, doubtful, too long, too Risky and too expensive Pipelines "Baku - Ceyhan", perhaps due to be followed also by Nabucco (if the current Lack of gas providers, as well as a growing Competition from Other, Alternative Projects might, eventually, be overcome in the Future), Ankara's Military would "never accept a real ReUnification of Cyprus, because it will always want to keep an absolute Control on the Security of Oil and/or Gas Ship Transports"..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
    This proved .. prophetical, since, indeed, Turkey's "Partitionist" stance, became even more serious and stuborn, particularly during and mainly after the construction of the controversial, and too expensive Baku-Ceyhun Oil Pipeline, which ends in front of the currently Occupied by Ankara's Invasion Army, Cyprus' Pentadactylos' long range ..

Prepared since 2002 but inaugurated only on 2006, and by a timely "coincidence", precisely, only when an unclear provocation pushed to the most recent Israel-Lebanon War, pushing Oil Prices in Stock Markets up to the Highest levels, never seen before, the controversial Baku-Ceyhun Oil Pipeline, (which, in fact, suddenly became Economically "viable" only when even innocent People, including small Children, were killed during the 2006 Lebanon - Israel Border Conflict),  is logically suspected to have seriously diminished, if not totally evaporated, any eventual Turkey's readiness to accept a Peace Agreement on Cyprus which would really ReUnify the island. On the contrary, Ankara's insistance to impose the traditional Turkish Partitionist aims, in one way or another, became even more heavy ...

    So, it's easy to guess the real reasons for which Turkey, (backed by a Lobby linked, precisely, to the Baku-Ceyhun and/or Nabucco Oil/Gas Pipeline projects), has recently become obviously Indifferend about whether Cyprus' Talks might end up into succeeding to find a Solution for the ReUnification of the island, or, on the contrary, end up in a Deadlock, or even break down : That would obviously serve Ankara's interests related to its wish to keep a Total Military Control over Strategic Oil/Gaz Transport Routes, even by Sea, i.e. close to the Northern Territories of Cyprus, which, precisely, continue to be under Turkish Military Occupation...
    However, another recent Development, in the overall context of Cyprus' issue, obviously is also EU's role, which cannot remain still so reduced as Turkey had imposed in the Past :

    Indeed, after 2004, Cyprus is now a full EU Member, and Turkey, despite controversies on its notoriously controversial and unpopular EU bid, at least has started, since 2005, and continues even today, Open-ended but Lucrative EU Negotiations, costing more than 800 Millions € from EU Taxpayers' Money in full Grants each Year...

    Moreover, after the December 2009 entry into force of EU's New Lisbon Treaty, Human Rights (as those of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, as well as "Missing" Persons' and their Families, etc) have started to be applicable on all EU acts, thanks to EU's Charter of Fundamental Freedoms, while, also , EU is currently starting to develop a New European Diplomacy, after the appointment of Cathy Ashton as EU Commission's vice-President in charge of Foreign Policy, placed at the Head of a 6.000 member strong, brand new, EU "'External Action Service", which cannot remain Idle on Cyprus for too long...

    F.ex. it would be a blatant Paradox if EU remained today, after all the above mentioned recent developments, without any Direct implication in the UN sponsored Cyprus' Talks, while, on the contrary, even back on 1997, when neither Cyprus, nor Turkey hadn't even started Negotiations with the EU, nevertheless, EU Council had sent a Permanent Envoy, (in the form of an experienced Ambassador from Ireland), to directly follow the Cyprus' Talks under UNO auspices f.ex. at Montreux/Glyon, (See, f.ex., Exclusive Statements that the EU Envoy had given then to "EuroFora"s co-Founder, which were published in 2 Media, including a Press Agency).

    Therefore, this clearly seems to be the wrong time for Turkey to eventually persist in claiming that EU should not be involved in at least those aspects of Cyprus' issue which directly affect Vital EU Interests, Values and Principles, particularly those who count most in EU Citizens' eyes..

    This naturally includes Christofias' controversial move to accept a kind of "Rotating Presidency" between the 78% Greek Cypriot Majority and the 18% Turkish Cypriot Minority population, (as it was initially, before the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation, followed by illegal Settlers' influx frm Turkey's mainland, while Greek Cypriot Refugees are still hindered to return to their Family Homes and Ancestral Land, contrary to UN SC, EU and CoE Resolutions, as well as to ECHR's Judgements), particularly if it might result into an attempt to impose a Turkish ethnic origin, culture, language and political affiliation "President" even to the EU itself, without even previously consulting it... (Comp. supra).
    Moreover, EU could be particularly useful, if adequately used by the UNO, in order to help create a realistic but solid base of Socio-Economic Commong Interests, able to bring closer together Greek and Turkish Cypriots, so that a Political Solution might become easier.

    Such a possible move might take f.ex. the forme of Grants, Low Interest Loans, Guarantees, Technical advise, etc, in order to help Common Projects able to develop a real "Economif Integration" of the 2 parts of the island", precisely as a former EU Chairman in office, Dutch Foreign Minister, had earlier told "EuroFora"s co-founder, in reply to our Question, (published in "TCWeekly"), precisely when the "Green Line" Trade Regulation, a.o. were initially adopted...
    Meanwhile, as far as UNO itself is concerned, it's obviously  important, both for its Credibility and Efficiency, as well as for its own Independence vis a vis any eventual pressures from outside, to help keep Freedom of Press and Speech intact, at least on Cyprus' issue. This will also be a "Test" of the Credibility and Objectivity of UNO's "Enhanced Role" (See supra).

    It's obviously not with brutal Censorship or other eventually undemocratic ways that "Hope and Enthousiasm for a Solution" might be "renewed", and the "Public" stop being "weary", as UNO's SG Ban Ki Moon rightfully asked today.

    On the contrary, in order to really "prepare their respective communities for the Compromises required for a Settlement and (what is most important) the Prospect of Living Together in a United Cyprus", as he went on to conclude his Geneva Statements, People must TRUST those in charge of leading the UN process as Objective and Well intentioned People, sincerely committed to work correctly, and in  a Democratic way, Able and Intelligent enough to have Replies to give to any Legitimate Concerns or Questions raised by People involved, and to convince them that that's the Best way to advance forward for all those who sincerely wish a stable, and not shaky, Solution for a Real Cyprus' ReUnification, respectful of its People's main Rights, and able to stimulate those indispensable Common Interests which can successfully keep the pieces together in an harmonious whole whithout any more Tragic Conflicts, but towards a United and Peaceful Future.


    Last but not least, (Unfortunately in "EuroFora"s s just personal view), Christofias apparently reiterated his entourage's refusal of UN SG Ban Ki Moon's reported suggestion to hold at least some Cyprus Talks Meetings abroad, (f.ex. in Switzerland), so that they wouldn't be so much influenced by local Media and Lobbies.

Something which went contrary to Christofias' view on the "Cypriot ownership" of UN sponsored Talks, but also excluded a nice and practical possibility to hold Cyprus' talks in a so beautiful Natural Environment as that of UNOG, be it inside Geneva itself, or any where else around Switzerland''s spledid landscapes, full of Mountains and crystal Lakes inciting to look High at a Big Horizon...



(NDLR : Draft, Incomplete News, as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A complete, more accurate, Final Version is due asap).





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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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