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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE asks Turkey to stop Oppression against Democratic Alternative for Kurds +slams Terrorism on Army

CoE asks Turkey to stop Oppression against Democratic Alternative for Kurds +slams Terrorism on Army

Written by ACM
Friday, 21 October 2011

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The President of CoE watchdog for Local/Regional Democracy (CLRAE), experienced British representative of the Governing Coalition (Liberal) Keith Whitmore, replying to an "EuroFora" question, stressed that, "certainly",  so many (even Elected) "People being locked up in Jail" in Turkey for three years without Trial, "are Not Acceptable", both because "Human Rights are at the Core of CoE's mission" and also from the Democratic standards point of view.


    Whitmore was speaking of the "Massive Detention of local Elected Politicians" among more than 3.000 People ("Local Officials, Human Rights Activists", etc) from the Kurdish Minority in Turkey since the 2009 Local and Regional Elections, for which the PanEuropean Congres of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE) just decided to ask its "Monitoring Committee to closely look" at the matter, "in the light ..of the European Charter of Local Self-Government", that Ankara's Government has to respect.


    The move came in a larger framework of what appeares as an indirect but crystal clear CoE call on Turkey to lift oppresive obstacles to Democratic Alternatives for the Kurdish Minority, while alsoi condemning those who push towards Terrorism and Military clashes after attacks against the Turkish Army at the Iraqi borders, prolonging violent deadly clashes which have already durated more than 30 Years (1984-2011), witout conclusion, showing the need for a Political, Democratic Solution, as Turkey was reminded, (See infra).


     CLRAE's Bureau also decided to ask CoE's "Commissioner of Human Rights", Thomas Hammarberg from Sweden, "to look into the issue of the Detention of local Elected Politicians in Turkey, in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights", whose violations are condemned by Strasbourg's PanEuropean Court.


    Moreover, CLRAE called "the President of the (Pan)European Committee for the prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatments .. (CPT) to examine the Detention Conditions" of jailed Kurdish Elected Politicians such as "Ms Leyla Guven" (a former CLRAE Member) in the Diyarbakir E-type Prison".


    F.ex. Guven "has to share with 23 inmates Rooms normally foreseen for 8 Persons" only, (i.e. 400% overcrowded !!!), with the result to be obliged, every night, to Sleep only for a few Hours in a bed, shared in turns, one after the other (!), as CLRAE's Heads of Delegation, who visited her on the spot after years-long efforts, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP Swedish representative Anders Knape, CLRAE's vice-President,  and Socialist representative Leen Verbeek, vice-President of the Dutch Delegation to the CLRAE, denounced during Plenary Debates earlier this week.  Moreover, she has to consecrate the 3 only Hours per Week during which she is allowed by the Turkish Authorities to communicate with other People, just to try to care for the City which elected her Mayor, without Time to see her Children, during all these 3 Years closed in a Prison where "showering Water is only available for a Short period of Time each day", with a "Poor Sanitation", Hindered to Speak in Court in her Mother Tongue : Kurdish, etc., all this resulting in clear "signs of Stress, such as Perspiration and tension", typical of the "Prisoner Syndrom", etc.
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     - But, "instead of having just one or two Statements, I think it's better to set in motion a real Proces", allowing to work in a "Rational, Sensible way, with Factual Arguments, to talk with  the appropriate authorities, and, at the End of this, to have a Proper Reform" and real Change, "rather than only some kind of ephemeral, verbal reaction", President Whitmore went on in his Reply to "EuroFora"s Question, explaining thus why CLRAE''s Bureau also asked him to "Regularly Inform (CoE's) Committee of Ministers", its Top Political body, as well as CoE's "Parliamentary Assembly", etc., in an obvious effort to Start using at the same time various CoE's Monitoring Mechanisms all together vis a vis Turkey, including on the Conditions for Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, "regarding the need to improve Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law".

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    - Because CLRAE's Delegation, which has just made a Visit on the spot, after years of refusal by the Turkish Authorities, strongly denounced in its Report that such "an apparently Systematic, Massive and On-Going Persecution of Local Politicians, is UNDERMINING local DEMOCRACY" !
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    => Therefore, the Vice-President of CLRAE's Monitoring Committee, and vice-Chairman of the French Delegation, Socialist mainstream representative Francis Lec, asked in the most official terms, and "on behalf of all the French Delegation", to "immediately release" the imprisoned former CLRAE Member Mrs Leyla Gulen, after 3 years of jail without even trial.

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    - Indeed, "we (CoE) can't just Sit down and Wait !" for even longer, denounced also CoE's co-Rapporteur on the issue of the 3.000 Kurdish Elected and other Local/Regional Officials which are still Jailed since the 2009 Elections, vice-President of the Dutch Delegation, Leen Vebeck.

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    - A fortiori when the jailed Kurdish Elected representatives such as Mes Gulen, "Reject very clearly any Armed struggle", focusing just on Peaceful and Democratic ways for Political debate, as observed also CLRAE's experienced vice-President, Swedish ChristianDemocrat representative Anders Knappe.

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    - As for the freedom for her and other jailed politicians to speak their Mother Tongue in Turkish Courts, Austrian representative Mrs Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom observed that, in several European hotspots this is legally possible, thanks to Interpreter's help, and proposed for CoE's Legal/Constitutional watchdog known as "Venice Committee for Democracy through Law" to advise the Turkish Government on how to proceed, if needed, with adapting its law on this point.

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 - "I hope that this (CoE criticism on Turkey) would help also Many others among those Elected Officials in Jail" since 2009, f.ex. by speeding up Trials and hopefully liberating most of them, said also to "EuroFora" the experienced former CLRAE President, and current vice-President of its Chamber for Local Authorities, Halvdan Skard from Norway, pointing, at his own Initiative, at this issue, as one of the "most Important" for this CLRAE  session.


    In addition, CLRAE's Bureau had decided since Monday to exceptionaly Publish the Report on the Visit to Detained Kurdish Mayors in Turkey, before starting to hold the above-mentioned Critical Debate at CLRAE's Plenary, as a matter of Urgency, from Tuesday Morning.


    Unfortunately, the anouncements made afterwards by the Turkish Government on violent events on Military outposts which reportedly followed shortly in the Hakkari regions' borders with Iraq (see infra), obviously questioned CoE's "speed" to act, particularly on an issue which remains unsolved for more than 3 Years since the 2009 arrest of many Thousands of Kurdish Elected and other Local/Regional Offcials after the latest Local Elections in Turkey..
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    => With these and other Measures from the beginning of this week (see infra), CoE in substance called upon Turkey to stop undermining Democracy in Kurdish areas after massive arrests and persisting long imprisonment of elected representatives even without trial, etc., in order to allow a Democratic Alternative to the Kurdish Minority, as the best antidote to those who push for "terrorist" attacks against the Turkish Military close to Iraqi borders, that CoE also condemned, despite claims thar they might have been "provoked" by new Arrests and Military incursions of the Turkish Army, (which afterwards found, as usual, in such series of events, another opportunity to launch even more massive attacks against Kurdish rebels inside Iraqi territory)...


    Incite Ankara to Solve the Kurdish problem with Democratic means, conrtary to persisting Oppression which reportedly triggered more conflicts, showing once more the limits of Ankara's mainly Military option, appeared, indeed, as the main aim of several CoE's key Officials this week.


    The move unfolded during a strange Series of Events, spread along several Days, starting by a beginning of initial Criticism of the Massive Detention conditions of more than 3000 Elected and other Kurdish Local/Regional Officials, from Monday and Tuesday, followed by alleged "provocations" by even more arrests and afterwards even Military incusrions by the Turkish Army, and resulting towards Wednesday by reported simultaneous attacks of Kurdish rebels against Turkish "Military" targets around the border with the Kurdish Region of Iraq, which, in turn, gave an opportunity for the Turkish Government and Army to launch a Massive Attack, reportedly with Airplanes, Drones, Rockets and Tanks by many Thousands of Military troops inside Iraq.

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CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, stressed that " the only effective antidote against terrorism is more Democracy and more Human rights", (as even Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had said himself in the Past), while CLRAE's President, Brittish Liberal Keith Whitmore, speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg, agreed thatr it's obvious that the Kurdish problem cannot be dealt with by Military means, but needs a Political Solution.
Both spoke on the occasion of "attacks on Military installations in Hakkari", (Jagland), which "resulted in the deaths of at least 26 Turkish Soldiers" and "Police officers", (as Turkish Chairman of CoE's paneuropean Assembly Cavusoglou also noted), concerning "Military outposts in Hakkari in Turkey", i.e. at the Borders with Iraq, as Whitmore's relevant statement observed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Jagland from Norway also conveyed his "deepest condolences to the families of the 26 Turkish Soldiers who were killed", but also, expressed, more generally, our (CoE's) Solidarity with the People of Turkey who have been suffering from Terrorist Violence for Decades", (1984-2011).


Turkish outgoing rotating Chair of CoE's Parliamentary Assemblmy, Mevlut Cacusoglou, was more outspoken and obviously unilateral, by declaring "outraged by the Terrorist attachs in S/E Turkey which resukted in the deaths of at least 26 Turkish Soldiers". He also "condemn(edà in the strongest terms the authors of these horrendous acts, as well as (a previous) attack on (Turkish) Police Officers", also attributed by Ankara to Kurds. "Terrorists will never achieve their ends through violence and bloodshed", added Cavusoglou just after CoE started to deal with more than 3.000 arrested Elected representatives of Kurds, jailed in Turkish Prisons since the 2009 Local/Regional Elections (see supra). "They do not defend ideas, they seek only to propagate hatred and barbarity". That's why "their acts are a crime against us all", he concluded in a statement co-signed also by Ukranian Foreign Minister Gryschenko.

CLRAE's President, Keith Whitmore, also "declared, the day after the attack on the Military outposts in Hakkari in Turkey";  that, "the Congress strongly condemns the violent attack perpetrated by the PKK which led to a large number of victims. No cause can be defended by terrorist acts. In fact, this attack undermines the basic foundations of our Democratic society", he stressed.

According to various mainstrearm International Media, Kurdish rebels reportedly claimed that they would have been "provoked" by incursions of the Turkish Army and denounced the still on-going 3 Years-long Mass-arrest and Imprisonment even of some 3.000 Elected Mayors, Regional Governors, Municipal and/or Regional Counsilors, etc. since the 2009 Local and Regional Elections

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+ CLRAE/PACE  : "Destructive" measures against L/R Democracy in Turkey, + "Excessive" Threshold (+10%) in National Elections
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    - On the Local/Regional level, CoE's watchdog for Local and Regional Democracy, CLRAE, recently debated and voted a Resolution denouncing the Turkish Authorities for having imposed measures against "Democracy" which are "Destructive", such as the mass Arrests and Jailings of Mayors and Regional Counselors shortly after being Elected, since the beginning of 2009,  (See "EuroFora"s relevant 3/2011 NewsReport).


    + On the National level, the exclusion of any Party which doesn't get more than 10% of votes Nationwide, even if it succceeds to have more than 60% or 70% f.ex. in the Kurdish areas, practically hindering Kurds' normal representation inside the Turkish Parliament, was notoriously denounced as an "Excessive" "Threshhold", without equivalent in any other among PanEuropean CoE's 48 Member Countries, according mainly to a critical CoE Assembly's Report drafted by mainstream MEP former President of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Luc Van Den Brande, (former Prime Minister of Flanders' Federated State in Belgium, and current President of EU's Committee of Regions' body for Governance, Citizens and Public Administration).


[But the initially powerful and experienced EuroPolitician was afterwards reportedly undermined and practically pushed to quit the CoE on 2009, (focusing later on only on EU issues), following an unprecedented in CoE's History manoeuver, so that nobody else raised anew the issue of that "Excessive" Electoral Threshhold in order to criticize Ankara until now.. However, Van den Brande was exceptionaly present in Strasbourg this week, as a speaker on "Multi-Level Governance", while CoE's bodies were apparently coordinating their views on the aggravating problems of Democracy in Turkey]...
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    - Thus, in a subsequent exchange of views at CLRAE's Plenary, after an intervention by a Turkish representative asking to merely condemn the Kurdish rebels' attacks on the Turkish Military outposts at the Borders with the Kurdish Region of Iraq, experienced, mainstream French representative Jean-Louis Testud,, from the Governing party UMP, (ChristianDemocrats/EPP : Center-Right), reminded to Turkey that, more or less recently, "even several European Countries like, Spain, Italy, Ireland, the UK, France, etc, faced in the past various problems of Violent Minorities who wanted to be represented (as such)".

    - F.ex. "Spain was intransigeant against Terrorism, naturally, but it started a Dialogue with the Basques, it helped them to have access to Democracy, it listened to what they had to say, and, today, it's a problem which is on the process of being solved", Testud observed, speaking  just a day before Basques' ETA anounced that it "definitively" drops armed struggle, for the 1st time in History !...


    + Also the Kurdish problem, it's a problem which can be solved, just like the Northern Ireland issue, the Basque issue,  or ours were solved", Testud pointed out optimistically :

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    => Therefore, "I believe that if Turkey is really willing to solve the Kurdish problem, they will start a Dialogue with Kurds who are for Democracy, and isolate those who stand for Terrorism", he advised, (according to a schema which has become obvious af the latest National Election of June 2011 in Turkey : Comp. "EuroFora"s relevant NewsReport). In consequence, he "ask(ed) from at least 1 Member of the Turkish Delegation to strongly defend the Democratic Rights of all Elected Kurdish representatives who are Unfairly thrown into Prison !"


But in vain... : There was not any positive reply from the Turkish side.., except from the launch of a Massive Turkish Military attack which reportedly started to kill Hundreds of Kurds, mainly at the Iraqi side of the border, believed to be rebels.


Meanwhile, pro-Kurdish "Peace and Democracy Party" (BNP)  co-Chair Demirtas, strongly criticized Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, accusing him to face Kurds' recent moves for "Peace" and "Dialogue" only with "Violence" and more "Arrests", by "Hidding the Truth on Burned Villages", "Torture", etc., as well as by voting a "War memorandum" in the Turkish Parliament "2 Weeks ago", as he said, reportedly speaking during a gathering near the recent incidents at Hakkari, in Van.

***

(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A Final Version, more accurate and complete, 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)..
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    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.

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