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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow CoE asks Turkey for Content of Effective Investigation+Tangible Result on Cyprus MISSING People Fast

CoE asks Turkey for Content of Effective Investigation+Tangible Result on Cyprus MISSING People Fast

Geschrieben von ACM
Freitag, 22 September 2017
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
In an Important Decision taken by CoE's Top Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law clearly urged Turkey to show the "Content" of "Effective Investigations", and "Tangible Results", on Cyprus' "Missing" People, as well as "Firmly" asked anew Ankara to Pay, at last, to Victims' Families the "Just Satisfaction Awarded by the European Court", Droping Pretexts to Drag its feet even Further since the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of Cyprus, and/or Cover up Crimes with Total Impunity still on 2017, (See, f.ex.:
http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeyhidescontentofinvestigationonmissingcypriotsdestroysproof.html ).

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The move was made during CoE Ministers' Session due to Supervise ECHR Judgements' Respect by its 47 Member States (19-21 September 2017), which was Chaired by the experienced Permanent Representative/Ambassador Arnold de Fine Skibsted, from Denmark, vice-President of the CoE, and soon due to take over CoE's  Full Presidency from November 2017 up to May 2018, included.

 

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CoE also Decided to Review anew Turkey's compliance with ECHR Judgements, (which have already Condemned Ankara several times on Cyprus' "Missing" Persons, since 2001, 2010, 2014, etc., after its First relevant damning Findings as early as since 1992, etc), at one of its Next Meetings in Strasbourg, on June 2018 : I.e. under the Presidency of Finland or France, (which has a Traditional Lead for International Protection against Enforced Disappearances, f.ex. since the confection of UNO's New and Stronger relevant Convention, back on 2006 under former President Jacques Chirac, which Entered into Force on 2010 under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, and is already supported by almost 100 Countries accross the World).


+ Meanwhile, just in a Few Hours' difference, at New York, Cyprus' President Nicos Anastassiades, Speaking at UNO's General Assembly, reminded the fact that, "since 1974 more than a Thousand Greek Cypriots are still Missing", after Ankara's Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Part of the Island.


>>> But, an eventual "Progress to the Humanitarian Issue of the Missing Persons" in the foreseeable Future, could become one among the key "Game Changers in Creating a Climate conductive to Resuming Negotiations", under UNO's Aspices, for a Peacefull ReUnification of Cyprus, "with the Aim of reaching a Comprehensive Settlement", President Anastassiades declared, as Also, f.ex., anOther Key Human Rights Issue, that of "the Return and Resettlement" of Greek Cypriot Refugees, at least to "Varosha" (Famagusta), by "its Rightful and Lawful Inhabitants", (etc), as "Mutually Agreed <<Confidence Building Measures>>, which are in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN Secretary General's Reports".


-  On this occasion, Anastassiades also "Urge(d) All Countries which Might hold Information" relevant to Cyprus' "Missing" Persons, "to Open their Archives, in order to Support our Efforts to giving an End to this Tragic aspect of the Cyprus' Problem".


Soon Afterwards,  UNO's Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) of Cyprus, with all its 3 permanent Members, reportedly decided to Exceptionally visit London, for Meetings with UK Government Officials about Access to Archives which May contain useful on that Tragedy. For that purpose, several CMP Meetings at UK's Defense and Foreign Ministries, the British Army's Joint Staff and its National Archives, MPs, as well as Greek-Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot NGOs on "Missing" People, were organized, given also Great Britain's 2 Big Military Bases, still existing at the Island.


The Latest UN sponsored Multilateral Conference for a Solution on Cyprus' overall Issue, faced Recently a Deadlock, at nearby Switzerland, particularly because Turkey Refused to Withdraw its Invasion/Occupation Troops when an eventual Deal would Enter into Force, and Insisted to Claim for Unilateral Military Interventions even in the Future.


- But Anastassiades declared Now his "Readiness" to "Resume Negotiations, in accordance with (UN SG's Draft) framework and always in line with the relevant UN Resolutions", for an Agreement on Cyprus' ReUnification, through "a New Conference", which "Should be thorough(ly) and solid(ly) Prepared", with "a Strong Will and Determination by All", in order "to Ensure" that it "Will Leadd to a Positive Outcome".


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

However, the Decision taken Today on Cyprus' "Missing" People by CoE's Committee of Ministers, does Not impose, yet, any concrete Sanction on Turkey, Despite of all its Refusals, Delays, Diversions, etc, During too Many Years, all the way through, since a now remote Past, (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeyhidescontentofinvestigationonmissingcypriotsdestroysproof.html ), and Not Even after Ankara's Latest Claims, this Week in Strasbourg, to ... "Close" several Files on Cyprus "Missing" Persons, even if its Controversial "Investigations" did Not yet produce Any Result, including also on "one among the Most Serious Crimes", as Turkish Authorities just revealed.


According to ECHR's Notes, Many among the Greek-Cypriots gone "Missing" were Seen Alive by Eye-Witnesses and/or even Photographed as "Prisoners" of Turkey's Soldiers, in Vilages controlled by Turkish Troops, Entering a Turkish Military Vehicle, some Tranfered by Ship to Prisons of Anatolia inside Turkey, or in Houses of some Turkish Cypriots, (etc).

From 2006-2009 and Later-on, CMP's official Findings on the Victims' Remains, note an Impressive Number of Cases where Deaths seems to have been provoked by mainly 1, rarely 2 "Bullet" Shot(s) Fired "to the Head", (sometimes Obviously "from Close Range"), i.e. as in Cold-Blood Executions.

Several Victims' remains also bear Traces of what might be Torture, Amputations, etc., such as, f.ex. "Hands Missing", Wounds by "a Pointing Cutting Instrument", Decapitation, Dislocated Bones, etc.
Some Remains were found Hidden (f.ex. "in a Mass Grave in a Well"), and/or in Areas Located Far Away from there where the Victims were Last Seen, Many Remains had been obviously Re-Located, (See Infra).
Many Victims were Captured Soldiers on 1974, i.e. Prisoners of War ("POW"s), but also various Civilian people, including Elders, even Women and Children.


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CoE's 9/2017 main Decisions :
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=> The Main Points of CoE's Decisions taken this week, on Turkey's Obligation to Implement ECHR's Judgements which have Condemned Ankara on Many (Bith Inter-State and Individual) Cases of Greek Cypriot "Missing" People, are the Following :


(1) Agreeing with "Eurofora"s main Critical observation, published Earlier, about a Surprizing Absence of any concrete Content of the Investigations allegedly carried by Turkey, and Rejecting Ankara's opposite Claims, send at the Last Minute, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeyhidescontentofinvestigationonmissingcypriotsdestroysproof.html ), CoE's Top Political Body, its Committee of Ministers clearly Asks Now "the Turkish Authorities" to give, precisely, "Information on the CONTENT OF ...the INVESTIGATIONS"


And CoE Reminds that it's Not  the 1st Time that it has to do so...



(2) Moreover, CoE also Asks Turkey to "Keep" Strasbourg's Organisation "INFORMed", Not only about those Investigations which were "Finalised so far",  But Also "OF THE PROGRESS in ... Investigations" still Pending.



(3) Concerning the Timing of the on-going Investigations, CoE asks from Turkey a "RAPID Finalisation".


CoE also "Underlined the URGENCY", ("due to the Passage of Time" from 1974 until 2017), "for the Turkish Athorities" to act according to its instructions in this matter.



(4) The most Important, (Significantly underlined by the CoE from the outset, already at the 1st § of its Decision), naturally is for Turkey to "provide ...All Necessary Assistance" in order to "Achieve TANGIBLE RESULTS, as Quickly as possible".



(5) For that purpose, f.ex., CoE Accepts most of Cyprus Government's motivated demand for "the Turkish Authorities to give UNHINDERED ACCESS TO ALL possible MILITARY ZONES, Located in the Nothern Part of Cyprus", as the Final Decision asks.


Indeed, Nicosia had Denounced the Fact that, After Refusing such Access to UNO's CMP during a Long Time, Ankara "Only Recently proceeded to Partially and Hesitantly" to do so, "after intensive pressure". But, even "Nowadays, Despite Appearances and Allegations to the contrary", in fact, "Access to Military Zones is a Daily Struggle for CMP, and is Closely and Unduly Monitored by representatives of Turkish troops". While, "a Substantial part" of the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, "under the effective Control of Turkish troops, is Designated as Military Zones, and Access to them, as well as to Adjacent Areas, was for Decades Prohibited". So that, Nowadays, Turkey's Plan to provide Access in Some Military Zones, "within the Next 2 Years" (sic !) "is Neither Sufficient, nor convincing", Cyprus' Government had Warned, proposing to ask Turkey for "Immediate and UnHindered Access to All Military Zones Today".



(6) Last, but Not Least, CoE's Committee of Ministers concludes by "Insisting ... Firmly on the UnConditional Obigation to PAY the Just Satisfaction, awarded by the European Court" to the Victims, withOut (more) Delay".


CoE was, indeed, Obliged to do so "Again", as it Reminds, because Turkey, for Years, has Not yet Paid Anything out from the "30 Millions €" that ECHR's Judgement "Awarded as Non-Pecuniary Damage Suffered by the Surviving (Family) Relatives of the "Missing" Persons", at the Inter-State Case of "Cyprus v. Turkey", back on "May 2014", (concerning ECHR's Main Judgement's Findings in that affair, since 2001), as Nicosia denounced.


-"Turkey's persistent Refusal to Comply", is "a Flagrant Display of its overall Dismissive attitude", and "Undermines the Credibility" of ECHR, putting also "in Question the viability of the System of the Protection of Human Rights", Cyprus had Criticized.


+ Moreover, Ankara's Authorities persist in a similarly Negative stance also in the Individual Complaints, as that Lodged by the Families of 9 "Missing" Greek Cypriots in the "Varnava" case, in which ECHR has strongly Condemned Turkey wih a Judgement issued as early as, already since 2010...


 - "There is No ... Information to report, at this stage, with regard to the Payment of Just Satisfaction", not even to "Varnava" affair Victims' Families, merely says Turkey ... Seven Years Later, on 2017, (continuing with other various allegations against Cyprus' Government, but ...Forgetting the Families of those 9 "Missing" Greek Cypriots, for whose Fate ECHR judged Ankara responsible).


 - As for the due "Criminal Investigation" on "Varnava" himself, it "is (still) on-going", Turkey said, 7 Years after ECHR's Judgement...


However, CoE's Highest Political Body, its 47 Member States-strong Ministerial Committee, went on, Today, to take, also Specific Decisions on "Varnava" case, concerning 9 "Individual" Persons gone "Missing" :


- CoE reiterated, in absolutely Identical terms, also here, the Crystal-Clear Call that it has taken on the Inter-State Case (Comp. Supra), about "Firmly" asking Turkey to Comply with its "UnConditional" Obligation to Pay to the Victims' Families the "Just Satisfaction Awarded by the European Court", which, in these Individual Applications is, all in all, 27.000 € only "for Costs and Expenses", (plus the Legal Interest rates for 7 Years of Turkey's persisting Refusal to abide : 2010-2017).


=> In Both Cases, Turkey's persisting Refusal to Pay the Just Satisfaction awarded by ECHR will be Checked by the CoE anew, in just 2 Months Time, at its Committee of Ministers Next Session for Human Rights, on "December 2017".


+ At the Same Date, CoE decided now to Review also Turkey's parallel persisting Refusal to Pay the Compensations awarded by ECHR to a Group of Greek Cyriot Refugees/Displaced persons, who are still Hindered by the Turkish Army to Return Back and/or Access their Family Homes and/or Private Properties located in the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Foreign Invasion/Occupation Army, nonobstant ECHR's Judgements in the "Xenidi-Arestis" Group of cases.


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


++ And CoE's Ministerial Committee also went on to explicitly "Call on the Turkish Authorities" to Ensure the Effectiveness of ... Investigatios, and their Rapid Finalisation", as well as to "Inform" the CoE "of the Progress in these Investigations", Pointing "in Particular (to) that concerning Andreas Varnava".


Varnava had been seen, by EyeWItnesses, Alive as a Prisoner transferred by the Turkish Military to a Jail in "Adana", at mainland Turkey's Anatolia plateau. Since then, his Body has Not yet been Found anywhere by UNO's CMP searches, (Contrary to Others, who were Arrested at the Same Time), and both his Fate and Whereabouts still remain Unknown...

 

 

(../..)

 

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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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    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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