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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE:Mazochism v. Record-High Turkish Contempt of ECHR Judgements on Cyprus Refugees+Missing persons?

CoE:Mazochism v. Record-High Turkish Contempt of ECHR Judgements on Cyprus Refugees+Missing persons?

Written by ACM
Friday, 23 September 2016
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
Are some pushing Europe Back on the old "Cold War" Era,  before the Fall of Berlin's Wall and the subsequent ReUnification of Europe, when ECHR's Judgements, even on serious, wide-spread and continuing Violations of Human Rights, were either practicaly Inexistent, Inaccessible or Toothless ? 


Or has, perhaps, the "Global Warming" Theory been already Bellied in Strasbourg, at least somewhere inside CoE's Committee of Ministers, given the astonishing Fact that it really looks "Freezed", despite this Summer's Heatwave, in front of a blatant Contempt shown by the Turkish regime, for too many years, vis a vis ECHR's Judgements condemning Ankara to, at least, pay a just satisfaction to Cyprus' Refugees and "Missing" Persons' Families, which scandalously remain still Non Implemented  ?


Facts clearly Revealed this week in Strasbourg, are so Surprisingly and Exceptionaly stunning, that inevitably Looks as if someone may have Condemned CoE's Highest Political Body to Collectively Suffer from a strange Kind of Collective ...Mazochism, since it Persists to Limit itself into Only Asking, again and again, Turkey to, at last, Pay the "Just Satisfaction" ordered by ECHR for having seriously Violated the Human Rights of Greek Cypriot Refugees and "Missing" Persons' Families, withOut, however, taking any Sanction at all against Ankara's Continuous blunt Refusal to do so, Repeated Many Times, during an Exceptionaly too Long Period of Time, Extending for More than ...26 Years in Most Cases, which concern Individual Applications Lodged by the Victims already as Early as, mostly, from 1990, but with the relevant ECHR Judgements issued Meanwhile, still Pending for Execution at CoE's Committee of Ministers, to whom the Statute of the PanEuropean Organisation had entrusted the Duty to "Supervise the Execution of ECHR's Judgements", until Now, on 2016, i.e. More than a whole Generation Later !


An initial ECHR cystal-clear Finding that Turkey was Committing Many Serious Violations of Human Rights in Cyprus, after a 1st InterState application lodged as early as already since the 1980ies, had been practicaly droped by a toothless, then, CoE's Committee of Ministers on 1992 under a Deal consisting, in fact, into asking Cyprus to Stop that process, in exchange of allowing, for the 1st time, the Publication of ECHR's damning Conclusions against Turkey's wrongdoings.


But, since, (the End of "Cold War" and Europe's ReUnification Helping), the Individual and InterState Applications before ECHR started, at last, to have, for the 1st Time in History, a much More Accessible and Efficient Mechanism for the Defense of Human Rights, (particularly during the 1990ies), then, Greek Cypriot and other Victims of the still "Continuing" (according to ECHR's Findings) Massive Violations of Human Rights provoked mainly in the Territories of Cyprus still Occupied by Ankara's Military Troops for more than 42 Years now (1974-2016), at least some Greek Cypriot Refugees and "Missing" Persons' Families, as well as Cyprus' Government itself in a landmark "InterState" Complaint v. Turkey, succeeded to Bring many of those affairs before the PanEuropean Court of Strasbourg, which Judged and strongly Condemned Turkey, at several occasions, on 1996-1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014, etc.

 

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However, despite even of another, more Recent and Crystal-Clear ECHR "Great Chamber" landmark Condemnation of Turkey's various manouvers to Avoid Implementing EuroJudges' Decisions, issued on Spring 2014, (See, f.ex. : ....), nevertheless, CoE's Top Political Body has recently Decided to again ...Postpone even the simple Examination of the Tragic Issue of "Missing" People in Cyprus for "December 2016", and that (much more WideSpread) of Greek Cypriot Refugees, still Hindered, by Ankara's Invasion/Occupation Army, to Return Back to their Ancestral Land, and/or to Use or even simply Access their Family Homes and other Private Properties, located at the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, still Held by Turkey's Military since the 1974 Deadly Foreign Invasion, that they had been obliged to Flee, was Recently anew Postponed, by a Controversial CoE's Committee of Ministers' decision, for as Long as up to March 2017...       


Nonobstant the Fact that EuroJudges, with a landmark and crystal-clear Decision of their "Grand Chamber" issued on Spring 2014, have Strongly Denounced, in substance, a Risk for Evidence of Serious Crimes against "Missing" People to be, meanwhile, Destroyed so that all those Responsible might Definitively Escape any Punishment, Contrary to ECHR's well established case-law, and, in Addition, for Greek Cypriot Refugees' Family Homes and other Private Properties to be illegaly Exploited, meanwhile, f.ex. by some, massively and illegaly Imported from Anatolia, Turkish Settlers, (against whom, PACE's Parliamentary Assembly, as well as Ministerial Committee itself in the Past, have repeatedly Warned that they Threaten to seriously "Alter the Demography" of the Country, and/or to provoke another "Political Obstacle" to the Solution of the Cyprus' Issue and to a Peaceful ReUnification of the Island, already as early as since 1998, 2003, etc), Strongly Calling, therefore, the CoE's Committee of Ministers to, at last, take some Efficient Action against Turkey's persisting Obstruction, from which some get illegal Profits in the Mean Time.

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At least, However, CoE's Committee of Ministers has Repeatedly Urged Turkey, until Now, to Pay the "Just Satisfaction" allocated to the Victims by ECHR's Judgements. But, with the sole Exception of just 3 Cases, during Only the Period of 2003-2009, when Ankara had accepted a Compromise with the Victims, including a Total or Partial Payment of the Sums allocated by ECHR's Judgements, and/or Other relevant Individual Measures, on the Contrary, as far as it concerns the Wide Majority of 33 Other Cases of Greek Cypriot Refugees who had also managed to obtain an ECHR Judgement condemning Ankara for violating their Rights, nevertheless, Turkey still Refuses, until Today, on 2016, to pay what it ows ! To these Totaly UnPaid Indemnisations of various Victims of serious and Continuing Violations of Human Rights, were, meanwhile, Added even anOther 9 "Missing" Persons' affairs, included in the notorious "Varnava" case, where also Turkey still Refuses to at least Pay the Just Satisfaction ordered by ECHR, as CoE reminded this week.


+ Moreover, in order to be Conscious of the Real Dimension of that Problem, anyone should Also consider the supplementary Fact that ECHR had, Meanwhile, massively "Freezed" any Other Individual Applications versus Turkey, from the more than 190.000 Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons, who Continue to be all Hindered, by Ankara's Invasion Army, from Returning back to their Ancestral Land, and/or to Access or Otherwise Use their Family Homes and other Private Properties located in the Occupied Territories of the island, in Addition to more than 1.500 "Missing" Persons' Families, which have been practicaly placed in a Similar Situation, still Obliged to Wait for the Final Outcome of the already, previously lodged, and Judged applications, on which ECHR had already Decided much earlier, (i.e. using a so-called "Pilot Judgement" procedure). So that those, above-mentioned 42 Individual Cases of Cyprus' Refugees/Displaced and "Missing" Persons, are just the "Tip of the Iceberg", compared to the Many Thousands (nearly 200.000) of Victims concerned in real practice, and still Waiting at least for an elementary Justice, according to ECHR's established Principles...


But, what Reveal the latest CoE's Official Documents published Today, after a 3-Days Long, Autumn 2016 Session of its Committee of Ministers on ECHR Judgements' Executon, is an Astonishing and Scandalous reality of the PanEuropean, 47-Member States' strong, Organisation of Strasbourg for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, ...Vainly Repeating endless Calls to Turkey, (Pending the full Execution of the required General Measures in order to Stop those Massive Violations of Human Rights, for which Ankara has already been Condemned by ECHR : Comp. Supra), at least to Pay the "Just Satisfaction" Sums allocated by EuroJudges to the Victims and their Families, according to the above-metioned 41 ECHR Final Judgements, still Pending for Execution.


    - Numerous and various "Decisions" and "Resolutions" of CoE's Committee of Ministers, official "Letters" from the Foreign Minister of the Country Chairing the CoE each time, and even, rcently, "Letters by the Secretary General" of the CoE himself, who Heads Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation, (etc.), have been Vainly issued, "Calling upon" or "Urging" Turkey to Respect ECHR's Judgements on all those cases of Cyprus' Refugees and "Missing" Persons, still Pending for Execution, too Many Years-long, (particularly from "2008 and 2009", and on "September 2014", "December 2014", "June 2015", "September 2015", "December 2015", "March 2016", "April 2016", "June 2016", ... until Now, on "September 2016", as the Latest CoE Decision reminds, this week), withOut Any Result !

 

coe_cm_toothless_exhortations_for_turkey_to_pay_just_satisfaction_awarded_by_echr_400_01

 


    - The PanEuropean Organisation's Highest Political body has, thus, Repeatedly "Called", "Urged" and/or "Exhorted" Turkey to "Review its Position" and "Comply" with ECHR's Judgements, at least on the above-mentioned, Elementary point, which was qualified as an "UnConditional Obligation", "to pay, withOut any Further Delay, the just satisfaction Awarded by the Court, as well as the default Interest Due",  expressed its "Deepest Concern", and "Deeply Deplored the Absence of Progress" due to Ankara's still Persisting "Lack of" Any positive "Response", incited "2 Letters sent by the Chair of the Committee of Ministers to the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs", "invited the Secretary General (of the CoE) to raise the issue", and "also encouraged ...the (46 other Member States to do the same", as well as clearly Warned Turkey that such a Negative Behavior "is in Flagrant Conflict with its international Obligations, both as a High Contracting Party to the Convention (on Human Rights)  and as a Member State of the CoE", (etc...), in Vain, until now...


    So that, CoE's Committee of Ministers Latest Decision, on this same Issue, published on Thursday Evening, September 22, 2016, which "Firmly Insist(s), once Again, on Turkey’s unconditional obligation to pay the just satisfaction awarded by the European Court in these cases", and "deeply deplor(ing) the absence of progress in this respect and again exhort(ing) Turkey to comply with this obligation without further delay", obviously doesN't add anything really new.


    But, what CoE did NOT Yet do, vis a vis Turkey, Despite all this Time of various Verbal Exhortations withOut any positive Result (Comp. Supra), obviously is to Threaten with, or Impose Any Real SANCTION to this Too Recalcitrant Turkish State, which Insists to Treat repeated ECHR Judgements with blatant Contempt.


    Contrary to what CoE's Parliamentary Assembly had done, Back on April 1995, with an Exceptionaly Strong Resolution, practicaly Ordering Turkey to Move in a Fixed Time Deadline, both on Cyprus and Other "Hot" Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, Issues, Threatening Ankara, on the Contrary, to Impose a Series of Concrete Sanctions. Even if, later on 1996, this PACE Call was Finally Watered Down, (i.e. merely Starting a "Monitoring" process), Nevertheless, it's also a Fact that CoE has had already Imposed Heavy Sanctions to Belarus, and/or Threatened with various Sanctions several Other Countries in the Past, such as Greece, Ukraine, and recently Russia, (while, at least once, it had even Warned ...USA, a Non-Member State, but Holding a Special Status inside CoE, with some kind of Consequences, If it persisted in Not Complying with some Elementary Obligations for all CoE's Members or Partners !).


    And, at least in 1 Case, that of Greece, Back during the Colonels' Government of 1967-1974, CoE (after a Strong ECHR Judgement) had also Pushed the then Athens' regime to Drop its Membership in Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation, (something that Many Greek Politicians have often Saluted with Gratitude later-on, including, Recently, the current Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, during his Speech at PACE's Plenary of June 2016 : Comp. "Eurofora"'s NewsReport from that event, f.ex. : ...). A Move which is obviously Close to a Recent CoE's Call upon Turkey to Stop such a Repeated and Blatant Failure to Comply with ECHR's Judgements, included in Cyprus' case, Contrary to the Commitments undertaken by all CoE's Member States, according to its crystal-clear Statute : Comp. Supra).


    But, in Turkey's case, will some oblige CoE's Committee of Ministers to merely persist into just Repeating, again and again, only those similar Verbal Exhortations, still withOut any Result, vis a vis an even more and more Recalcitrant Turkish Contempt of Strasbourg Organisation's most Basic Principles ?


    If Yes, then, with What Credibility might CoE, eventualy, persist into Putting Sanctions on Russian MEPs, on the occasion of the Ukraine conflict, or even Assist the EU on Topical "Hot" Issues concerning Turkey itself, (as some Top EU Commission Representatives have just Suggested during EU Parliament's Plenary Session in Strasbourg last Week ?
(See f.ex. at least one relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucommissionerhahnonturkeyvisas.html)


    Various relevant Converging Developments clearly Indicate that most, if not all, these Issues might be raised with an even stronger Intensity, probably Before December 2016, when CoE has just Decided to "Resume Consideration" of the above mentioned Turkish "issue", while ...Cyprus will have, normaly, taken over from Estonia CoE's Committee of Ministers Rotating Presidency, for the crucial Period of November 2016 - May 2017.


    I.e., by also another Timely "Coincidence", almost at the Same Moment (f.ex. "January 2017"), on which, the Experienced Head of the German Delegation of MEPs in CoE's Assembly, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP from the Governing CDU Party, Axel Fischer, has Recently told "Eurofora" that PACE intends to seriously Review all Turkey's still Pending "Hot" Issues, (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/paceandeppheadfischeronturkey2017rdv.html)...

(../..)

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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    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".
----------------------------

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.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

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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