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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE: Calls to Debate + put Turkey under Monitoring, with Concequences vis a vis EU

CoE: Calls to Debate + put Turkey under Monitoring, with Concequences vis a vis EU

Written by ACM
Friday, 20 January 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- CoE Assembly's (PACE) Powerful Political and Monitoring Committees have Both Officially asked for an "Urgent" Debate on Turkey, Next Week in Strasbourg, during the Plenary Winter 2017 Session of the PanEuropean Organisation, "Eurofora" was told by PACE's Director General, Wojcieck Sawicki from Poland, in Reply to one of our Questions, during the traditional Press Briefing of Strasbourg's Journalists, earlier Today Morning.

 
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The Head of Germany's Delegation to the PACE, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Axel Fischer, speaking Previously to "Eurofora", had already Warned Twice that an Important Move on Turkey had been Scheduled inside CoE's Leading circles for January 2017, (See, f.ex. : ...+ ...).


But the Crucial point is the Fact that many MEPs reportedly wish, on that Occasion, to Push for a CoE Assembly Decision to put Turkey back under a Monitoring procedure, which is the Best Mechanism suited for CoE's Member Countries which don't yet fulfill all the Conditions of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, that are considered of essential importance for the PanEuropean Organisation's membership.


"Monitoring" was Created on 1996, precisely on the occasion of Turkey's case, when Ankara had Failed to meet the Requirements of a 1995 PACE Resolution which had Initialy Threatened the Turks with Sanctions, unless they Settled grave Human Rights Issues inside the Country, made Progress on Solving the Kurdish Conflict, Stopped War Threats at the Aegean Sea, Recognized the Armenian Genocide, Withdrew their Invasion/Occupation Troops from Cyprus, etc, in a Time Deadline of 6 Months. In order to Avoid Sanctions, Turkey was put, then, (on 1996), by PACE under a "Monitoring" procedure, practiced by a New Committee, Established then, for that unique purpose.


On 2004, when Turkey strived to Start controversial and unpopular "Accession" Negotiations with the EU, in order to be considered as Fulfilling EU's "Copenhagen" Criteria, had to push for CoE to Stop Monitoring Ankara. This was, indeed, done, under certain Conditions, that Ankara still has to fulfill, untl now, and, therefore, still remains, at  least, placed under a "Post-Monitoring" procedure.


However, an eventual Re-Opening of a fully-fledged "Monitoring" procedure would obviously EnDanger Ankara's controversial and unPopular EU bid nowadays, (since it would practicaly mean that Turkey Fails to Fulfill EU's "Copenhagen" Criteria : Comp. Supra).


That's Why the Turkish Government has currently Multiplied various Attempts to Prevent this from happening, Next Week in Strasbourg. Since Ankara, notoriously is not at all ready to Comply not even with CoE's Minimal Requirements, then, the Turkish Delegation to the PACE is currently obliged to multiply various anorthodox Attempts to Push Back MEPs' Moves towards re-Opening the Monitoring Procedure...


Initial Claims by some, that a Country Member of CoE since its Creation should Not be Pushed Back to "Monitoring", was naturaly Rejected, since Turkey is Not at all a Founding Member of the CoE, has been Already Submitted to "Monitoring" between 1996-2004 (Comp. Supra), and had Faced even Appeals to be Expulsed from the CoE, for Grave Failures to Respect its Basic Principles, (as even Greece during the period of the Colonels' regime of 1967 - 1974), already as Early as since the 1960ies, when former Prime Minister Menderes was Brutaly Lynched by Turkish Mobsters, (it was then CoE's own Director of Humab Rights, who had reportedly Called for Turkey's Dismissal, as well informed CoE's sources have Told "Eurofora").


 Then, the Turkish Delegation to the PACE claimed that they were still Occupied with Voting a Constitutiional Reform, so that they would be Obliged to be Exceptionaly Absent from Strasbourg Next Week, Asking to Postpone any PACE Vote concerning them... But, when it became Crystal-clear, (at the Latest, Today, Friday Morning), that CoE's Assembly deemed UnAcceptable for anyone to Block an Important Vote simply because a Member Country Accused to Fail in meeting its Obligations, would choose to be Absent at that Moment, suddenly, Ankara's Parliament ...rushed to Conclude Voting on its Constitutional Reforms, later on Friday, so that, now, Turkish MEPs could come on Monday to Strasbourg...


PACE's eventual Decision to Send Turkey Back to Monitoring can be taken with a Simple Majority of Votes, among those MEPs who are Present. At Present, inter alia, f.ex. Russia and Albania are still under PACE's Monitoring, and there is No Reason why Turkey be an Exception, other CoE's sources pointed out nowadays.


But the necessary Decision to Accept, before that, the above-mentioned Demand to hold an "Urgent" Debate on Turkey (Comp. Supra), reportedly Needs a Qualified, 2/3 Majority, in order to Change the Draft Agenda of the PACE, (even if it's Not yet Clear why PACE's Bureau hasn't yet Agreed with the Demand of the Political and Monitoring Committee to hold such a Debate, Neither If it Might, eventualy, do so, at least Now, i.e. when it meets on Early Monday Morning at 8.30 here).


However, the current Situation of the Turkish Government has notoriously become more and more Difficult abroad, and particularly vis a vis Europe, after the Recent notorious Massive Assaults against Human Rights of many Tens of Thousands of Judges, Civil Servants, Journalists, Educators, Policemen or Soldiers, Dismissed, Prosecuted, Arrested, etc, if not even Tortured, Raped, Lynched by Brutal Mobsters (as Many Photos, Videos and/or Testimonies reveal), even Elected MPs striped of their Immunity and prosecuted, etc, (which had Already Started Long Before that Strange, short-lived, 6 Hours-long, alleged "Coup" Attempt of July 2016, particularly against Press Freedom and against the Kurdish Minority, both Subjected to Harsh Measures since much Earlier than that), followed even by soem very Strange, Suspicious so-called "Terror Attacks" Killing Many Kurds and Other Dissidents, initialy near Kobane, at the South, and later, even more, in Ankara, Exclusively German a.o. Foreign Tourists in Istanbul, etc., closely Followed even by Military Invasions and Occupatlons of Foreign Lands inside Syria and/or Iraq, (in Both cases Against the Expressed Will of the Governments of those 2 Countries, which Condemned and Vigorously Protested, repeatedly, against the Turkish Army's Intrusions.. *
Recently, a Large Majority of MEPs in EU Parliament Voted and Adopted an Exceptional Resolution, on November 2016 in Strasbourg, Asking to "Freeze" EU - Turkey Negotiations, for the First Time in History..


+ In Addition, Many MEPs, (including even Several Top Mainstream Political Representatives, such as, f.ex. a former President of EU Parliament, as Buzek, most Main French Opposition Party "the Republicans"' MEPS, etc)Prefered, Exceptionaly, to Vote for certain Much Harder Sanctions against Turkey, (such as, f.ex., to Cut all EU Funds for Ankara, Not only "Freeze" but also "Stop" EU - Turkey Negotiations, etc., Even if those Alternative Choices had been Tabled by ...Marine Le Pen's new "ENF" !


For the 1st Time, it's even a Leader of the Left in France, such as MEP Melenchon, who Voted also for these "Harder" Sanctions against Turkey...


+ Moreover, more Recently, it's also a Top Socialist French Leader, the former Long-time Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has just Anounced his Will to Put "Definitively an End" to Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid.


>>> Meawnhile, practicaly All Experts of the CoE, the experienced PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, after recently Visiting Turkey and Studying carefuly the Measures taken by Ankara's Governement, have Concluded that they are Manifestedly Excessive, grossly DisProportionate, and/or Otherwise Iillegal : From PACE's 2 Co-Rapporteurs, to the PanEuropean Commissioner on Human Rights Nils Muijnieks, up to the Top Jurists of CoE's prestigious "Venice Commission", for Democracy through Law, which has just Published a Damning overall Criticism of most Measures taken by the Turkish regime in its Conclusions adopted Last Month (December 2016), etc., so that there is No more any Doubt at all that what is really Happening nowadays in Turkey is Unacceptable for COE's Standards and Values.


- "Human Rights in Turkey are under Severe Attack, and the Enemy is the Turkish People's own Government",  strongly Denounced since the End of 2016, even USA Congress' Foreign Affairs Committee's President, Dana Rohrabacher, a Don Trump's faithfull, and Largely Popular among his main Electoral Base, who is considered by the New US President for the Job of State Department's Under Secretary of State, (equivalent to vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs).


The New USA State Secretary, Rex Tillison, during his recent Hearings at the Senate, stressed Both the Importance of Human Rights/Democracy issues for the New USA Foreign Policy of President Don Trump, as well as of the matters concerning the Security of American People.


In the current case of Turkey, Both these 2 Alarms are Ringing at Top "Red" now : Human Rights are obviously trampled underfeet, and Security itself has been notoriously Undermined by several Years of Blatant Complicity into providing Money, Foreign Fighters "Jihadists", and Weapons (even Heavy ones), etc. to various Violent Extremist Islamist Gangs operating accross the Turkish Borders to Syria and Iraq, etc., including, particularly, ISIS' atrocious BeHeaders Targetting even Innocent Civilian People, (who are Recently Spreading their Deadly Terror even inside Europe and in the USA)...


In Addition to More than 145 Journalists Jailed in Turkey, (a World Record High Today !), the Concrete Case of Rescapee Cem Dundar, (Cumhurriyet), currently Exiled in Europe, after having been Prosecuted and Jailed in Turkey, where his Wife is Obliged to stay Separated, since Ankara's Authorities DoN't let her Travel Abroad, is Eloquent, in this regard, as he Reminded Earlier this Week in Strasbourg, during our "Press Club"'s award of 2017 Prize in Franco-German "ARTE" RadioTV's Headquarters, near EU Parliament's and COE's Buildings :


- After Being Prosecuted and Condemned for having Published an Original, Investigative Reportage, whose Truthfulness had been, "however Verified", as he noted, Revealing that Agents of the Turkish State were Delivering Heavy Weapons (Explosive Rockets, etc) to Islamist Terrorist Gangs in Syria, (Hidden inside Trucks crossing the adjacent Turkish Border), merely "Because they Claimed that it was a "State Secret", as he told earlier "Eurofora", Dundar, afterwards, even saw most of his Lawyers and Judges being themselves Replaced, Dismissed, Prosecuted and/or Arrested, if not Fired upon by Armed Thugs, etc, as he Denounced this Wednesday...


Speaking Previously of Dundar's case, Turkish President Erdogan significantly did Not even Contest that his Turkish State's Secret Agents were Delivering Arms to Islamic Extremist Gangs, but reportedly Vowed to "crash" the likes of him..


- Dundar Expects from Western Democracies, and particularly from Europe, that they Act in order to "Warn Turkey", and make it Change its current methods, as he Said to "Eurofora" earlier. Meanwhile, he "does Not Exclude" that Political Dissidents who have found Refuge Abroad, (as himself in Berlin, Germany), might "Organize" themselves, including, eveb, by a kind of "Government in Exile" or "Something else", as he told this Week to "Eurofora" just after his Speech at Strasbourg's Press Club in ARTE's Headquarters (Comp. Supra).


Meanwhle, at least one thing is crystal-Clear : Both Human Rights and Security are Now Dangerously Compromised in Turkey, and Something serious enough must be done.
---------------------------


Meanwhile, CoE's Officials had enough Time and Opportunities to eventualy Coordinate Actions with their EU Counterparts, this Week in Strasbourg, (including EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, who was here on Wednesday), during EU Parliament's latest Plenary Session, earlier this Week, where MEPs Elected their New EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP, as Juncker, and Debated the incoming January - June new EU Presidency's Agenda, chaired by Malta, a Small/Medium EU Mediterranean Island-Country accustomed to Coordinate Actions also with Cyprus, which currently Chairs COE's Presidency for the Parallel Period of November 2016 - End May 2017.


EU - CoE "Cooperation" stood, indeed, High, mutatis-mutandis, inside CoE's "Palais de l'Europe", this Friday, January 20, 2017, in Strasbourg, as a kind of overall Ambiance, as "Eurofora" clearly felt, (Comp. f.ex. : .....).

(../..)

 

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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