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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?

Pisac ACM
23. 09. 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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 imag0972_400


    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
--------------------
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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