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Inicio 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

Escrito por ACM
22.09.17
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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".


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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.


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++ 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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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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