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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.
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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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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

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    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

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    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

***


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