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Accueil 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?

Ecrit par 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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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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