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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?

Parašė ACM
Friday, September 23, 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 !

 

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    - 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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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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