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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE under Pressure by ..Turkey against Criticism of Persecuting,Replacing+Jailing Dissident Mayors ?

CoE under Pressure by ..Turkey against Criticism of Persecuting,Replacing+Jailing Dissident Mayors ?

Автор ACM
Среда, 28 Март 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- -"CoE must put Pressure on Turkey" in order to Respect Local Democracry, after Hundreds of Local/Regional Elected Representatives were Dismissed, Replaced by Government-Apointed (i.e. Not-Elected) Agents, and many of them even Jailed or Condemned for too long, without legitimate reasons, had Urged, just Yesterday, in substance, CoE's Commissoner for Human Rights, Nils Muijnieks, speaking at the Plenary Session of CoE's Watchdog for Local/Regional Democracy (CLRAE) about "promoting Human Rights at Local and Regional level", together with UNHCR's Representative to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, Roland-Francois Weil.


=> And, precisely, in order to clearly Denounce in Public such Facts, the Official Heading of CRLAE's Chamber of Local Authorities' main Public Debate Today was: -"Mayors under Pressure" :


With the Exceptional participation also of Dissidents from Turkey and Moldova, the First being obviously the "Hottest" Issue by far, including a Kurdish Dissident against whom the Turkish Government has even launched an ... "InterPol Warrant" for Arrest, asking her "Extradition" in order to Hinder her from Speaking at the CoE, as Leyla Imret, f. co-Mayor of Cizre, (where her Party had Won the latest Local Elections of 2014 with about 81%), denounced to a Fully-filled up Room, Plenty of participants.

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However, suddenly, what a Surprize : - It's the President of CLRAE's Chamber for Local Authorities himself, the Experienced, mainstream ChristianDemocrat representative from Sweden, Anders Knape, who, in Conclusion, denounced the Fact that, in reality,  he had been, Personaly, also him too "Under Pressure" by Turkey in order to Cancel that critical Public Debate, but, after Resisting, finally, CLRAE's Highest body, its Bureau, had clearly Authorized such a Debate...

 

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Nevertheless, curiously, such an Elementary Move, had been scheduled, for Now, Exceptionally withOut any written Draft Resolution to Vote upon, while it's well known that Ankara often reacts to critical Official Texts adopted by European/PanEuropean Institutions, (as, f.ex., in the Past, a CLRAE's comprehensive Resolution mainly on the Kurdish Issue inside Turkey, initially Debated, Voted, and Adopted in Strasbourg on 1997, had provoked various reactions from the Turkish Authorities, who had to Reply specifically on a crystal-clear set of concrete Points, even a Decade Later, during a Follow-up Debate on the Implementation of that CoE's Resolution, on 2007...


That's one reason more for Miss Imret's concluding appeal to COE's Watchdog for Local/Regional Democracy, to send asap. a New Delegation to Turkey in order to Monitor the real Situation of Democracy at Local level throughout the Country during all the Recent Years until Nowadays : i.e. a move which, normally, leads, precisely, to the Debate, Vote and Adoption of a Resolution addressed to the concerned State and, eventually, also a Recommendation to CoE's Comittee of (Foreign) Ministers.


Speaking in a fluent German Language, that Dissident co-Mayor from Turkey, Denounced, inter alia, the fact that, After Candidates of her Party (DBP : Democratic Party of Regions) Won a Majority of Votes during the Latest, 2014, Local Elections, "in a Total of 2.101 Villages and 103 Cities", the Turkish Governement, since 2016, Striped our Mayors from their prerogatives and, "based on Fake Allegations", it "Arrested 110 Mayors, among whom, 56 (including 24 Women) are Still Remaining Detained on 2018, while another 15 Mayors were, Meanwhile, Condemned to Prison for One up to 11 Years.


+ Moreover, just for Protesting in public against the Deadly Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Syrian Kurdisg canton of Afrin, (already Denounced Both by UNO in New York, EU Parliament in Strasbourg, and EU Heads of State/Government in Brussels, etc.: See, f.ex., inter alia, also : ..., ..., and ..., etc), the New Co-President of that Dissident Party, Mahmut Aslan, (as well as Leyla Gulen, former Mayor, later Elected MP and NGO Head, who was Arrested since the End of January 2018, and Still Remains Detained until Today),  was also Arrested, on February 2018, and, according to several informations, he would be even "submitted to grave Torture while in Detention".


- 'It's Not Worth Replying" : "She is Lying !", merely reacted Turkish representative Nevzat Dogan, Mayor of Izmir (traditionally Smyrne, from Ancient Times until the 1922 Massare), from the currently Governing Party in Ankara.


 - "She is someone Aiding Terrorist Groups", "there is a Criminal Procedure" against her, and "she Fled Out of Turkey : Thus, she is Fleeing Turkey's Justice !", Mr Dogan accused.


- "This person has gone to Jail, a Criminal Judicial process is going on, and there is very Concrete Proof that she is Linked to Terrorist Activities !", the Turkish representative stressed, (Avoiding, However, to cite Any Concrete Fact)...


>>> How, then, was it "possible for her to come and Speak, here, to the CoE ?", he wondered., (Attacking her Freedom of Speech, But Not Daring Argue against her Arguments and Facts, with other concrete arguments and facts)...


=> This is a "Violation of Standards",  a "Divisive", "Tragic" and "Damaging" fact, "Against the Principles", he Cried !


 -"It's Not for the CoE", "Neither for Any (European/International) Organisation, to Decide if She is Guilty, or Not : It's up to he (Turkish) Judges", he Threatened, (while Thousands of Turkish Judges have just been notoriously Dismissed, Prosecuted, Jailed and/or Condemned)...


- Therefore, "the People who Applauded her, (during CoE's Debates), do Not Know what they are doing !".


=> Shouting against "Racism and Islamophobia, against Refugees", (as he called the Mass Irregular Migrants "Tsunami" of More than 1,5 Millions People from Afghanistan and Pakistan, up to the Maghreb, etc., including Syria, Iraq and many Other Countries of the World, that Turkey suddenly Threw, withOut any Warning, against Europe on 2015-2016, Exploiting abusively as a BlackMail in order to Swindle Europe out of Money and/or EU Accession-related Advantages for Ankara),


>>> Mr. Dogan Concluded, curiously, by ...Asking "Germans" to "Look First their own History (sic !), Before Criticizing the Situation in Turkey", (Forgetting that Hitler had done, precisely, the equivalent of that : i.e. Look at the Turkish History, when he reportedly uttered his Famous :  - "Who Remembers, Now, the Armenians ?")...


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   - "As you saw, here was Nothing to Say Against the Substance of my Speech, (Comp. Supra), but Only Against the Fact that I was Free to Speak, in front of you", at the COE, Replied the Dissident and Persecuted Mayor Leyla Imret.


 - It's, precisely, such kind of Negative Reactions which threaten to make Democratic political "Dialogue" practically "Impossible in Turkey" Nowadays,  she Denounced, pointing at Mr. Dogan's above-mentioned Behavior.


 - As for her Prosecution (Comp^. Supra), she simply observed that, "If Judges are really Free to Judge in full Independence, and if I had any Guarantee for a Fair Trial, then, it's OK : I'd Go before the Judges", (as she had Already done 3 Times in the Past, when she had been, initially, Detained, but Afterwards Released Free, when the Judges had Read the real content of her Speaches, and found that some pro-Turkish Government Medias accusing her, had, in fact, Viciously MisRepresentad and Distorded her sayings)...


- "I would Love to Solve our Problems by Dialogue, But, Now, Apparently, as we see (even here, in the CoE), the Time has Not Yet come for a Democratic Dialogue, and it Risks to take even Longer before it may become again Possible, she Regretted, expressing her "Hope" for "a Return Back to Democracy in Turkey" in the Future.

=> Thus, Meanwhile, in Conclusion, Dissident f. Mayor Imret, Anounced that a "Hunger-Strike" had Started, recently, "in front of UNO's (PanEuropean) HeadQuarters", at Nearby Geneva, by People who Protest against the Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of Syrian Kurdish Afrin canton, and call for the Withdrawal of Ankara's Troops from Afrin, pointing also at "Hundrends of Thousands of (real) Refugees who are Wandering around, far Away from their Family Homes, withOut any Help, withOut Shelter, No Food or Protection, etc., in order to attract Attention to their Fate".


----------------------


+ Many European Representatives a the CLRAE took the Floor to Speak on the subsequent Debate on that CoE's exceptional event about "Mayors under Pressure", which had been Officialy Scheduled to Start at 10h.30 a.m., Today, Wednesday Morning.


>>> But, even if that Crystal-Clear Time-table had been Officially inscribed Both to CLRAE Spring 2018 Session's overall Agenda, and at Today's Time-Table, printed and distributed at the CoE very Early this Morning (See relevant CoE Documents' Photos), Nevertheless, it was, Naturally, a Big Surprise, to finally Find out that, ...Instead of Starting at 10h.30, as initially scheduled and even later confirmed, on the Contrary, that obviously Important Meeting, in fact, ...Ended at 10h.30 !


=> This UnExpected, and AbNormal Last-Minute Radical Change, practically Hindered many People, (including, partially, "Eurofora"), from fullly attending All that CoE's Debate.


+ Furthermore, in the Particular but Real Circumstances of this Exceptional Day, it also Hindered to Attend an ECHR's Grand Chamber's Public Hearing in an Affair of Rare Importance for Both Human Rights and Foreign Policy concerning Cyprus and the manifold Consequences of the still on-going Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Nothern Part of the Island, nowadays EU Member State, (even in cases Risking to Scandalously leave Totally UnPunished some Brutal Killers of Greek Cypriots in the Free Areas of the Republic, who run, After having Committed their Horrible Crime in Recent Years, to Hide inside the Territories Occupied by the Turkish Army !), which had been notoriously scheduled by the CoE, since long, for Today, Wednesday, earlier, i.e. from 9h.15...


++ In Addition, that Strange Last-Minute Change, by DesOrganizing this Day's Time-table, it even Obstructed, in real Practice, "Eurofora"s participation to the Ceremony in Memory of the Victims of the latest Islamist Terrorist ISIS' Attack, cowardly Targetting innocent Civilian People on March 2018, at Aude, which had been prepared by French Officials and Strasbourg's Prefect, at the Other Side of the City, at 10h a.m., and where "Eurofora" had been kindly Invited : A particularly Emotional Event, as it included, naturally, an Homage to Philippe Beltrame, that Heroic French Gendarme, (personally Familiar to "Eurofora" also by his former Duties at the French Presidential Palace "Elysée" in Paris, as well as for the Security of the French President), who notoriously Risked and Sacrificed his own Life, in order to Save that of a fragile Poor Woman (obliged to work at a Super-Market's check-out, despite her University Diploma), among those various innocent Civilian People Cowardly Targetted by ISIS' Brutal and Deadly Thugs.


* All these 3 Exceptional Events in Strasbourg, (UnExpectedly made almost Synchronous), have at least two Common Characteristics :
(A) Obviously, they All Interested and concerned "Eurofora", (however Hindered to attend all of them, Contrary from what had been initially scheduled).


And (B), they were all Related to Ankara's most Controversial Policies, such as (1) Massive Violations of Human Rights/Democratic rules inside Turkey, (2) manifold Consequences of the Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation of Cyprus, and (3) notorious Long-Time Turkey's logistical a.o. support to Deadly Islamist Terrorists, as ISIS, Cowardly Targetting Civilian People, (in terms of Jihadist Gangs' Recruitment, Weapons' Supplies, Traffic for Stolen Oil/Gas and/or usurpated Ancient Cultural Heritage objects, Dirty Money-Laundering, etc), Followed, Recently, even by Direct Turkish Military Attacks against Syrian Kurds, (who have Helped the USA/EU-led International Coalition to Succesfully Fight against ISIS), with the Result to see, Now, a Recrudescence of ISIS' Deadly Terrorists' Coward Attacks Targetting innocent Civilian People, (as, f.ex., just a Few Days ago in France, etc)...


- At any case, Shortly After Today's Exceptional CLRAE's Meeting, a well informed CoE's Official said to "Eurofora" that a Pretext for that Spectacular, Last-Minute U-Turn and Radical Change in the PanEuropean Organisation's  Time-Table (Comp. Supra), would have been the Exceptional Fact that, Suddenly, CoE's Rapporteur in anOther among 2 Additional "Routine" small Debates about some of many "Local Elections" in certain Other Member Countries, (here = Georgia), i.e. Liberal Brittish Representative Stewart Dickson, Anounced that he had been Hindered, by a Strange (not-named) UnExpected "Incident" on his Way to Strasbourg, to Arrive on Time !


So, it might have been just a Tiny Micro-Event as that, which would have Hindered all those People who had Trusted COE's Official Agenda about that Key Meeting on "Mayors under Pressure" taking place at 10h.30, Both to attend that Meeting (as it, actually, ...Ended at the Moment that it Should, Normally, have Started !), and to really go to those Other, Above-mentioned, 2 Turkey-related, Exceptionaly important Events in Strasbourg, (Comp. Supra)...


+ In Addition, "Eurofora" was Surprized to See at least 2 well-known Members of the Turkish Delegation in the CLRAE, suddenly become, apparently, so ...Glad, when that CoE's Meeting on "Mayors under Pressure" had Concluded, that they were Exchanging (Behind a Wall, which Covered a small Area from CoE's big Room), large Smiles and Big Laughs, between them, so Excited, that they DidN't even Notice that they were Not Alone, almost ..."Dancing", with some Strange Moves, as if they would have Triomphally managed to Achieve and Snatch something Exceptionally Important !


=> Was it, Perhaps, because there was, indeed, at the same time, a Strange Feeling, as if things had, somehow, been Turned Upside - Down, so that, Instead of the CoE putting "Pressure on Turkey", (as it had Initially been the obvious Official Purpose of all those relevant Moves at the CLRAE in Strasbourg : Comp. Supra), on the Contrary, in Real Practice, the UnExpected Way that Events went through, (f.ex. the Absence of Any Written Resolution, the UnWarned, Radical, Last-Minute Change in the Agenda, etc), Might have  to the Opposite : I.e. that it was Now ...Turkey which was putting "Pressure" on the CoE !...


+ Together with the President of CLRAE's Chamber of Local Authorities, Anders Knape's shocking Revelation that he had, astonishingly, been already ...Himself "Under Pressure", mainly by the Turkish Authorities, which had Pushed him to "Cancel" that Debate, (Comp. Supra), it's Also the Exceptional Fact that Turkey had, Suddenly, Imposed in Real Practice, Earlier than Expected, its Recent Threat to, Suddenly, Stop Paying the Full Sum of Money that it Owed to the CoE since it Asked and Obtained a Status of "Big Funderd" ("Grand Payeur"), as the Most Important Member Countries, (such as Russia, Germany, France, the UK, etc), which gave to Ankara severeral "Special" Advantages, including a much Bigger Number of Representatives with Right to Vote inside CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), etc.


>>> In an Official Paper which circulated this week inside the CLRAE and all CoE in Strasbourg, PACE Strongly Denounces particularly Turkey's UnExplained Decision to Start Immediately putting into real Practice its UnExpected Threat to Cut a notable Part of CoE's currently Scarce Funds, with the Result to Provoke Serious Disruptions and Problems in its Functioning, which Could and Should have been Prevented, if Ankara had Warned on Time, and/or Left Enough Time to Prepare adequate Adjustments Before Cutting that part of Scheduled Funds.


No Official Explanation has Surfaced, until now, for Turkey's Surprizing Decisions, Not Only to Radically Reduce its Scheduled Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, but Also to actually Start Doing so in real Practice, almost Immediately, withOut any Timely Previous Warning.
In Consequence, as a 1st Counter-Measure, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly has just Decided to Stop Any Translation from/to the Turkish Language, as a Measure of Economy, since it reportedly used to Cost about 700.000 € Each Year until now...


Such a Move wasn't yet anounced also by the CLRAE, where Turkish Representatives were still practically allowed to Speak and Hear duriing the Debates in their National Language, by using CoE's Translation Service, as they, indeed, are Used to do in almost 9 out of 10 cases. But a possible Cut of Turkish Translations also at the CLRAE, would, certainly, Not Bother at all f.ex. the Dissident Kurdish former Mayor Leyla Imret, since she has already Proven, Today, that she really Speaks a quite Fluent "Deutsch" (one of COE's Official Languages)...


 - However, such UnPrecedented Moves towards Cutting the Scheduled Funds for CoE's normal Functioning, have, Nowadays, become so Serious, in Real Practice, that the CLRAE's Governance Committee President, the Experienced French, ChristianDemocrat/EPP Representative Jean-Luis Testud, speaking to "Eurofora", found that Problem to have recently become so Important, that he Cited it as "No 1" among his Committee's concerns during the Present, Spring 2018 Session of the Congress...


- President Testud said that to "Eurofora", naturally taken Together with Russia's Parallel, but much Earlier, Anouncement to Suspend Funding, (for which, However, Moscow had Notoriously, already Warned since Long, and may Respond, (practically from the End of March 2018), to a highly Controversial Disruption of All the Russian Delegation's Participation to CoE's Parliamentary Assembly since 2014, on pretext of the Ukranian Conflict, (which had been Provoked in Kiev, Donetsk and Odessa, etc. with a Series of Tragic, but still Not-fully-Elucidated Events), when a Controversial Amendment, pushed, in fact, by a Minority of the PACE then, Suddenly Extended even Further than what it was Initially Scheduled a set of Sanctions against Russian MEPs' Rights, Destroying, thus, a delicate Compromise which had, Earlier, been Found by the Parties Earlier.

(Almost Similar Sequence of Events, to that written Agreement that had been, initially, Signed by former Ukranian President Yanukovitch and All the Opposition, under the Auspices of French, German and Polish Foreign Ministers, for New Elections, Amnesty, a National Unity Government, etc, But was, immediately Afterwards, Brutally pushed aside and droped by a Sudden OutBurst of Deadly Violence in Kiev, Triggered by some, Still Mysterious "Snipers" who, Curiously, Killed Both Demnstrators and Policemen, as also Estonia's Foreign Minister had notoriously Observed then, See, f.ex.: ..., +...,  etc).


Recently, CoE anounced, since December 2017-January 2018, that a New Formula for a still Continuing "Dialogue" between Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation and Russia, in order to Hopefullt Find an Agreement before a forthcoming, probable New PanEuropean CoE's Heads of State/Government Summit scheduled for 2019, rather under French Presidency, and Relevant High-Level Political Meetings Started, indeed, to take place, at the End of January 2018 in Strasbourg, and at the Beginning of March in Paris, which should be Continued.


- However, as things stand Today, (and, naturally, taking Together, Both Russia's and Turkey's threats to Cut their Financial Contributions to the CoE), all this provokes an UnPrecedented overall Context, in which, CLRAE's Governance Committee President Testud, really Feels the Danger for one or another kind of "Blackmail" Attempt being, eventually, exerted upon the CoE, as he Warned nowadays "Euforora".


At any case, However, that Turkish Affair is, Obviously, almost entirely Differend from that of Russia's, and should Not be Confused :


(1) Indeed, it's Only Russia which has had to Face an Exceptional Disruption of All its Delegation's participation to the PACE since 2014, (Triggered by a Controversial Move to Impose More Sanctions than Initially Scheduled on Russia : Comp. Supra), while, on the Contrary, Turkey not only Kept its Delegation to PACE, but has even ...Augmented its Number, Meanwhile, by Becoming also a "Big Funder" !


(2) Russia had, already from the outset, clearly Explained the Reasons for which it (more or less, rightly or wrongly) found Justified to Reduce, Suspend or Cut its Annual Financial Contribition to the COE, obviously in relation with those Extended Sanctions against its National Delegation to PACE (Comp. Supra), and has also Proposed some concrete Formulas and Ways to Try to Settle this UnPrecedented Problem, (f.ex. by a Negotiated Reform of PACE's Rules of Procedure, etc), in order to Guarantee that it doesn't Pop up again at one moment or another, in the Future. In Addition, Recently, Crystal-Clear Mechanisms and Procedures were established, in Common Agreement with the rest of the CoE, on How to Start Jointly Searching, Discussing and Negotiating a possible Compromise. But, on the Contrary, Turkey, all out of a Sudden, just Anounced Recently to the CoE its Intention to Stop being one among its Big Funders, with a Simple Letter which, reportedly, did Not Say Anything about its possible Reasons, (as even CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, was Obliged to Reveal, when he was Asked, during a Meeting with Srasbourg Journalists, including "Eurofora", towards the End of 2017). Even until Nowadays, at the End of March 2018, there has Not Surfaced Yet Any clearly known, Public and Transparent Debate on Ankara's real Demands from the CoE....


(3) Moreover, Russia had notoriously Warned, since a quite Long Time ago, and on Several Occasions, that it might, Progressively, be pushed (by that, still Persisting Absence of all its National Delegation to the PACE, even for a 4rth Year in a rown, between 2014 - 2018) to Reduce and/or Cut its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE. While, on the Contrary, Turkey Never did so, but Only, Suddenly, Announced its UneExpected Intention to Stop being one among several "Big Funders" of the CoE, and Hurried up to Start Cutting the Scheduled Funds to the CoE Before even Saying When it intended to do so, Taking everyone by Surprize, and, thus, considerably Aggravating, in real Practice, the Damage thus Provoked to the Detriment of CoE's regular Functioning, as PACE just Denounced, (Comp. Supra).


-------------------------------------------


=> In Consequence, Given All these relevant Facts, it Obviously Appears not only Legitimate, but even Necessary, (if not Urgent), to Clearly Raise the crucial Question :


- WHO is "Pressured", Nowadays, by Whom, in this Multifacet Story, made out of a Complex Magma of core Human Rights, Funds  and Geo-Politics ?


- Is it Really the CoE which is Exerting "Pressure" on the Turkish Government, in order to Convince it to, at last, Respect at least the most Elementary Rights, first of all, of its own People, and/or of several among its Neighbouring Countries' Populations, (as it's notoriously the Duty of Strasbourg's Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, to do, Both in this and Other Cases)  


- Or, it's, in Fact, Ankara's Regime which is Exerting the Biggest "Pressure" upon the PanEuropean CoE in Strasbourg ?...


>>> Timely Question, (indeed Raised by the Recent Facts : Comp. Supra), put in order to Find a Crustal-Clear and Convincing Answer, which will Certainly Mark, in one way or another, CoE's and the PanEuropean Area's Moral and GeoPolitical foreseable Future, shortly Before the, apparently forthcoming, New 47 Heads of State/Governments' Summit, most probably in Strasbourg, under French Presidency, on 2019,


Which might, perhaps, be Obliged by Hard Facts, to Become even much More "Historic" than that of 1998, here too...


It was then, just after Russia's Entry as Full Member inside the CoE, Marking the Historic ReUnification of the entire Europe, (as USA, Canada, Japan and even Mexico were, almost at the Same Time, receiving a Special Status), with the ECHR making an Impressive Emergence with its First Landmark Cases on Human Dignity and a Comprehensive Institutional Reform, while even Core BioEthical Issues were Pointing, by a Coincidence, almost at the Same Time, at Sky-Rocketing Enigmas of Huge Stakes for all Humanity, (Cloning Humans, "Oviedo" Convention on Human Rights and BioEthics, etc)...


 But, Now, obviously, the Exceptionally Worsened Situation of Human Rights in and around Turkey, among others, and the Horrible Challenges raised by Deadly and Brutally InHuman Islamist Terrorism from ISIS' Cowards Targetting innocent Civilian People, both in Europe, in the USA and elsewhere in the World, added to Recent Attempts to Divide Europe and its People, while China still remains the Only UN SC Permanent Member withOut any kind of Special Status at the CoE (Despite an upGraded Consular Presence in Strasbourg), Digital Technologies Boom both Risks to Individual Persons' Life and Conscience, if Not to a Looming "Digital Divide", as well as an UnPrecedented Potential for Human Development and Access to Culture, and BioEthics Face Crucial Challenges, (f.ex. with "Gene-Editing" Technologies, etc), in a never ending list.


Exagerated PathWays between the Problem of "Mayors under Pressure" in Turkey or elsewhere, and some obviously much Greater (even if not totaly UnRelated) Issues, some Critics might, Rightfully, say...


Yes, But, Who would accept to Forget, and Why, that World-Famous "ReNaissance" Flamish Painter's Masterpiece picturing a Mirror giving a View, through a Series of more and more Wide Reflects through Crystals up to the Sky, towards an unexpectedly Huge and Large OverView ? And, after all, doesn't the Core Concept of pure and simple, basic Human Dignity (which Naturally includes also Safety), notoriously pierce through All that, in a New Way, Each Time ?


(../..)


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***


("DraftNews", as already Send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).


***
 

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swed_eu_400

    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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