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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

Parašė ACM
Friday, April 20, 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 recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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