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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Rapporteur on Medias due to be Replaced by Turkish MP in key Debate, CoE Officials tell Eurofora

CoE Rapporteur on Medias due to be Replaced by Turkish MP in key Debate, CoE Officials tell Eurofora

Written by ACM
Friday, 20 April 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/-PanEuropean Organisation for Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law's Rapporteur on Medias, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Volodymyr Ariev, from Ukraine, is due to be Replaced by his Turkish collegue, Gulsun Bilgehan, Socialist, during the most Popular public Debate of CoE's Assembly, at Next Week's Plenary Session for Spring 2018 in Strasbourg, as competent CoE Top Officials revealed in Reply to a relevant Question by "Eurofora", during the regular Press Briefing of Strasbourg's permanent European Journalists by PACE's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, earlier this morning.

"Eurofora", after being informed by unofficial but genuine Ukranian sources that Ariev was reportedly affected nowadays by a Harder than expected Flu, to the point to necessitate his urgent Hospitalisation, had asked what will happen in that Debate, scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, 2018, where the Biggest Number of MEPs from 47 CoE Member Countries (including Russia, Serbia,  Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, etc), have been already Registered to participate, and which extends from Morning up late Afternoon, dealing with Journalists' "Integrity" and Legal "Status" in Europe, (including presentations on the 2nd point by Elvira Drobinski-Weiss from Germany and Sunna Aevarsdottir from Iceland, them too Socialists  :  i.e. all 3 Socialists). 

Such a choice for a Turkish MP may naturally Surprise here, given the Exceptionally Harsh situation of Freedom of Press/Medias imposed by Ankara's regime since many years (even before 2016).

But it's true that Bilgehan is Vice-President of PACE's Culture, Science, Education and Media Committee,  as some pointed out. 

However, President of that Committee is ChristianDemocrat MEP from Spain, Maria Santa-Ana, and it has also Other Vice-Presidents, as Constantinos Efstathiou, from Cyprus, and Andres Herkel., from Estonia. In Addition, its Specialized Sub-Committee, precisely "on Media and Information Society", (i.e. the Most Relevant PACE's body), is Chaired by Petri Honkonen, a Liberal from Finland, with vice-President Maura Hopkins, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP from Ireland.

=> Therefore, given all these Facts, obviously Legitimate Questions are Raised about the Real Reason for which Spanish, Ukranian, Cypriot, Estonian, Finnish and Irish mainstream MEPs, holding Key relevant Positions inside PACE, (Comp. Supra), may be Threatened to be All Skiped and Replaced only by a Turkish collegue of them, (among 324 Representatives and 324 Substitutes  who are all PACE's Members),
 
Despite the Notoriously Harsh Situation of Medias'  Workers' Human Rights in Turkey, who face a World- Record High number of Violations there, (and taking also into account the particularly Delicate Issue of these or other more "Rules" to Impose on Journalistic Activities' Press/Expression Freedom also inside all Europe, as those Draft Reports claim to do)....

Or, was it, perhaps, precisely because of that  ?  

Indeed, this Exceptional CoE Assembly event unfolds just After controversial Turkish President Tayip Erdogan has notoriously announced Early Parliamentary and Presidential Elections for next June 2018.  

And the CHP main Opposition Party in Turkey, (to which belongs Ms Bilgehan), had, some Years Ago, Surprized several observers, (even "Eurofora'"s co-Founder, f.ex. when we met, in EU Parliament, with a locacious CHP MP, who vigorously urged EU to slam Ankara's Government for Massive Human Rights Violations, already Before 2016), by, apparently, taking a Strong stance for Democracy, Freedom and Rule of Law, against Oppression and Brutal Force, Criticizing, therefore, Ankara authorities' Hard Line policies.

Nevertheless, Meanwhile, more Recently, various Experienced European Observers, Started to be Astonished by a too often Repeated, Mass Mediatic Phenomenon, of too Many cases of so-called Last-Minute Turkish "Dissidents", who suddenly popped out of the.blue, grossly Exploiting an outrageous, (and often Exagerated or even inaccurate) Publicity, repeatedly painted, at Front-Page Headline "News" by some mainstream, Traditional Medias of the Establishment, as Fast-track, just Discovered "Heroes", (Despite having Benefited from "Cool Carreers" at Cosy, Routine and Cushy Top Jobs, withOut having Sacrificed Nothing substantial ever in their lives for any noble Cause). Even if some of them might, eventualy, have spend only a Few Days, Weeks or Months, reportedly at an Obscure Turkish Detention centre  :  I.e. almost as ... Erdogan himself had notoriously done, by entering Prison for 2 or 4 Months in the Past, until he Became Famous... 

=> To put it in a nutshell, it's all as if some kind of Gross Mediatic Manouver was going on, Attempting to ..."Prepare" a Handfull of possible "Candidates" ready to, eventually, Succeed and Take the Place of "Bad" Erdogan (painted more and more as an awfull "Hard-Liner" recently, with his personal complicity), at anOther Turkish Goverment, sooner or later in the foreseeable Future, which, naturally, would be Painted with the Colors of "the Good Guys", 100 %  pure Democracy, able to make Turkey Enter inside the EU, even Before most EU Citizens might have guess what was really happening to them ! ...

However, Facts are Facts, and they clearly Warn against such probable gross illusions, and the Harsh Deceptions that would soon Follow them :  
 
F.ex., the current Head of Turkey's main Opposition Party, Mr Kılıçdaroğlu of the CHP, who had Earlier taken a pose presented as that of a ..."Dove" for Peace and Democracy, etc, (even if his Predecessor, Ecevit, had notoriously ordered the bloody Military Invasion and Occupation of Cyprus' Northern Territories since 1974), has, more Recently, revealed a profile of rather an Oppressive and "War-Mongering" "Hawk"  :
 
Indeed, even a Turkish collegue, at the CoE in Strasbourg, recently reminded us the Fact that Kılıçdaroğlu's CHP has accepted and voted for the Expulsion from the National Parliament of the proggressive, pro-Peace, pro-Kurdish Party, whose Democratically Elected MPs were Striped of their Rights and Prosecuted even to Jail by Ankara's current Government. So that every Freedom-loving People couldn't but feel the Shivers by the UnPrecedented Spectacle of that same Turkish politician, Mr Kılıçdaroğlu, posing as CoE's ... Keynote Speaker, recently in Strasbourg, during an exceptionally curious "World Democracy Forum" 2017, Focused on how to ...Restrict, Prohibit, Exclude, Oppress, and even.... "Eradicate" that "Plague' (sic !), as one of his main interlocutors, sitting Side by Side, Astonishingly Boasted against People who had Different Views in the Political Debate  !  No need to share those or other such People's views, (something that we do Not), in order to simply feel Legitimately Revolted by such gross Anti-Democraticm, Brutal and Oppressive Threats against any People who simply have had Different Views in a Democratic Debate...

On the Contrary, new French President, Emmanuel Macron, proved in real practice, earlier this week, at nearby Vosges Mountains' Saint-Die city, that even Strong Disagreements on Issues of crucial Importance can and must be Democratically Debated, with elementary mutual Respect among initially Opposed parties  (See "Eurofora"'s NewsReport from the spot at : ...)  : 

- Indeed, contrary to an unrealistic "Nice, Gendle Mood" ambiant, just 1 Day Before, at the Official Launch of the 1st among a 6 Months-Long Series of EU Citizens Consultations throughout 27 EU Countries on Europe's foreseeable Future, that Macron had inaugurated the day before at nearby Epinal City's Congress Center ( See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the spot at :  ...), that subsequent event at Saint-Dieu was, in fact, an unforseen, Harsh Clash in public, at the Street, standing for Hours amidst a crashing Heatwave, between 2 really Opposed Views, on a Hard nut to crack, concerning the current Strikes by Railway Workers against a proposed Reform before EU Competition starts to be applied soon  : 

Macron was initially aggressed, several times, by various Hostile Groups, smaller in number than his fans and simple friendly citizens,  but much more Loud, Negative, and initially grossly Insulting, to an unprecedented level, without any formal Police authorisation there..

But, instead of sending the Police to disperse them, or merely Ignoring them by walking towards another street where he was awaited by friendly Peuple, on the Contrary, the young French President bravely decided to go, meet and speak with those Opposed Dissidents, and Start Discussing with them for... Hours  !  This was repeated also with some other Loud Dissident Groups, extending the program for 2 or 3 Hours more, until Angry Cries were progressively replaced by Hard but Sincere Arguments, and even if there wasn't yet any breakthrough agreement in substance, at least, an obvious mutual Respect was apparently established (even some applaud was heard sometimes afteewards on certain points) ! 

On the Contrary, as far as it concerns the Different case of Mr Kılıçdaroğlu, (comp. Supra), things went, meanwhile, even More Nasty  : 

F.ex, going much Further than Erdogan's recent dangerous criticism of Lausanne Peace Treaty, particularly as far as EU s current External Borders between Member State Greece and Turkey are concerned at the Strategic Aegean Sea, Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly even Boasted afterwards that he would also ...Invade and Occupy some Greek Islands, there, before even Threatening, Later on, to do so also at a Larger scale, by reportedly snatching more than a Dozen of such Greek Islands on 2019 ! ...

I.e., precisely what was needed in order to make Erdogan look, Comparatively, as an... innocent Angel flying on the Sky ...
 
 
(../..)
 
 
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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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