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Pagina principale arrow newsitems arrow CoE Report+ECHR back EU Parliament Spokesman Duch reply to EuroFora Q. on Torture Impunity in Turkey

CoE Report+ECHR back EU Parliament Spokesman Duch reply to EuroFora Q. on Torture Impunity in Turkey

Scritto da ACM
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
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Findings just revealed by the long-awaited and Unanimously adopted CoE's new Report on ECHR judgements' implementation, published today, confirm and strengthen considerably the impact of EU Parliament's Spokesman Jaume Duch's recent reply to the question raised by "EuroFora"s question on the strange fact that a 11/2010 Draft Resolution on Turkey, as it was initially, curiously omitted even to mention persisting, scandalous and dangerous, Impunity of Torturers in Turkey, as it results from recent ECHR condemnations of Ankara's Authorities for persisting until the end of 2010 to practically cover up Torturers even of a small Child aged only 12 and of a young Girl who committed suicide after serious ill-treatment by Turkish State's agents, etc., prolonging until now a more than 15 years-long ECHR case-law (1995-2010), as if nothing hadn't changed in substance on this core-issue of elementary Human Dignity and Rights, despite a Decade of controversial, impopular and increasingly expensive Turkey's EU bid (1999-2010).

- ECHR "has already found Many Times, in cases raising Similar Issues, ...that ..Art. 6" of the PanEuropean Convention vainly asking for an "Efficient Remedy" against Torture and Inhuman/Degrading Treatemnts, "is violated" in Turkey,  continuing to block any sanction against those responsible, denounced recently EuroJudges (See infra).

Even Identified Torturers' Impunity persists in Turkey until now, revealed recent ECHR's judgements issued at the end of 2010 in Strasbourg, on grave cases of Torture against a Child aged only 12 and a Young Girl, condemning Ankara for such atrocities committed both at the Massacre-stricken City of Izmir, (the over-Millenary Smyrne),  making even more doubtful a controversial Turkey's insistance to oblige the CoE to hold a May 2011 Conference on Human Rights' Court's Future in such a place marked by unpunished Crimes of the Past (1922) and apparently full now even of unpunished Torturers, among Turkish "Security" Agents, even of Young Girls and small Children aged only 12, as ECHR has just found on December 2010.  (See infra):

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 - "EuroFora" had asked EU Parliament's Spokesman and Press Director, Jaume Duch, among other questions, also if, at his knowledge, EU really took into account today CoE's findings on Human Rights, (the core business of the PanEuropean Organization particularly since the 2004 Warsaw CoE Heads of State/Government Summit), as it had been advised also by a landmark Report of €uroZone's President, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, on EU - CoE cooperation.


Because, apparently, one would say that this wasn't, no more, the case for an initial Draft 2010 Resolution on Turkey,  which, despite its overall balanced stance (including, f.ex. strong Criticism on Freedom of Speech problems), astonishingly ...didn't even contain this year the word "Torture" and/or "Inhuman-Degrading Treatments", while, on the contrary, in addition to some CoE's Reports denouncing the persistance of such problems in Turkey, ECHR repeatedly condemned the Turkish Authorities for persisting Impunity of Torturers, including these last Days (of December 2010), even for serious Torture of a Young Girl and a Child aged 12 !...


Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Duch if there was, according to his experience, any chance to update, at least on such a  key point of core Human Rights, that initial Draft 2010 Resolution on Turkey.

- "The European Parliament takes always seriously CoE's Reports, and (this goes even) much more seriously the ECHR's Judgements", the experienced Duch stressed in reply to "EuroFora"s question, as a matter of general principle.

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-  "However, at the same time, EP fixes his position on Turkey at least 1 time each year, but probably more" times, he reminded, speaking during the introductory Press Briefing of the December 2010 Plenary Session.


- "So", if it isn't done right now, then, "it might be necessary to wait, perhaps, a Next Opportunity for the EU Parliament to determine its stance on Turkey, in order to examine the impact of this CoE's (and ECHR's) stance", Duch carefully advised in conclusion.


Something which, normally, should be rather Easy to do even before the final adoption of the above-mentioned 2010 Draft Resolution on Turkey's controversial EU Negotiations, since it had not been yet voted not even in Committee, so that both its own Rapporteur, the experienced Dutch ChristianDemocrat MEP Ria Oomens-Ruijten, and/or any other MEPs, might eventually table some relevant Amendments to be discussed, voted and hopefully adopted, later-on, by the Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Committee, and/or at least by EU Parliament's  Plenary Session which is due to debate, vote and definitively adopt MEPs' 2011 stance on Turkey soon.

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CoE, 2011 : "IMPUNITY CONTINUES TO REIGN" in TURKEY for Torture, Killings+ !
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- "Impunity continues to reign" in Turkey, particularly on serious violations of Human Rights, such as Torture, Murders, Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty, etc, "by Turkish) Security Forces", mainly due to "the absence of effective investigations", as many cases prove, until now, denounces CoE's Report published on 2011, after being adopted at the end of 2010 by CoE Assembly's Legal and Human Rights Committee on a Draft presented by its Chairman, the experienced Cyprus' ChristianDemocrat MEP Christos Pourgourides, which was Unanimously endorsed at the end of December 2010 by all present MEPs.


- "A Significant Problem remains outstanding in the series of Shortcomings still apparent in investigating Abuses by (Turkish) Security Forces", mainly Torture, Killings, abritrary deprivation of Personal Liberty, the Report adopted by CoE Assembly's Legal/Human Rights Committee, denounces from the outset on Turkey, before final Public Debate, Vote and definite adoption due by CoE Assembly's Plenary in Strasbourg on January 26, 2011.


A particularly numerous "Group of cases" of ECHR condemnations vis a vis Turkey, still pending for execution, "highlights the fact that, despite the passing of many Years, Impunity continues to reign, in the absence of an effective investigation", denouced CoE's  Report, which was published after the end of CoE Assembly's Legal Committee's Chairman, MEP Purgurides' delayed visit to Turkey, at the beginning of 2011.

+ Moreover, regarding the issue of "MISSING Persons" in Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation,  "additional Measures are required to ensure effective Investigations into the Fate of missing persons", C. That said, no answer has been given so far by the Turkish authorities to the Committee of Ministers’ request for information on the concrete measures envisaged in the continuity of the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus with a view to the effective investigations required by the judgment
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ECHR : Turkey condemned for Impunity of Torturers, even of Child aged 12, Young Woman, etc, until now (12/2010)
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After a Child tortured when aged only 12, it was more recently the turn of a Young Girl in her 20ies, who attempted to commit suicide in Turkish Prisons after being arrested on mere suspicions of political affiliation, and reportedly humiliated, tortured and raped, by Turkish State's Agents who scandalously remain all Unpunished until 2010, that led ECHR to twice condemn Turkey recently for the persisting Impunity of Torturers.


In both cases, during a long "period" starting from around 2003/2004 up to 2010, i.e. "which durates more than Seven (7) Years", as ECHR noted,  denouncing also the fact that it "has already found Many Times, in cases raising Similar Issues as in this case, that ..Art. 6" of the PanEuropean Convention vainly asking for an "Efficient Remedy" against Torture, "is violated" in Turkey.


The moves were anounced by ECHR after a Human Rights session of CoE's Committee of Ministers, whose rotating Chair, currently Turkey, (as a Cold War-aged Member of the PanEuropean Organisation, which has 47 Members, fom Iceland to Russia and Azerbaidjan, and Special Status-holders USA, Canada, Japan and Mexico, etc), apparently escaped without strong criticism for the Longest and most Numerous backlog of Non-implemented ECHR judgements which repeatedly condemn the Turkish State for particularly serious cases of Torture already since 1996 up to 2010, i.e. more than 15 Years : I.e. since the famous "Aksoy" case, of a young boy who became Handicaped after being tortured in jail and was shot and Killed when he insisted to bring the 1st-ever Turkish Torture case at the ECHR  as early as since 1995. Continued by his Father, asking "one €" in "the Memory of his (tortured, handicaped and murdered) Son", Aksoy case has given rise to a long series of similar cases, since then, which multiply in Strasbourg because Ankara apparently doesn't really implement ECHR's case-law, not even after getting a controversial and notoriously impopular EU negotiations' bid, resulting in more than 800 Millions € of grants paid by the EU each year to Turkey, even during the present period of Global Financial Crisis...

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CoE's own recent Graphics clearly revealed in early 2010 the fact that Turkey holds an uncontested PanEuropean Record, bypassing by far all others among CoE's 47 Member States, in Non-implemented yet, serious cases where ECHR's judgements have vainly (?) condemned Ankara many times, particularly for serious, grave Violations of the Human Rights to Life, Freedom, and respect of Human Dignity (which protects against Torture and Inhuman/Degrading Treatments). In consequence, Ankara somes largely on Top in the percentage of important ECHR judgements still "Pending" for Execution at CoE's Committe of Ministers for many years, until now.

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    (a) In the 1st of these recent Torture cases, the scandalously persisting Impunity of Torturers in Turkey, even of a Child aged only 12, was strongly condemned by the European Court of Human Rights at the end of November 2010 in Strasbourg :


- ECHR strongly denounced the "quasi-Impunity" attributed to the presumed Torturer among Turkish State's Agents, mainly by several "lacunas", and "absence of prompt reply and diligence" by the competent Turkish Authorities.


- Even if the suspected Torturers had been identified, several among the denunciations made by the Victims, a Poor Family,  had been also rejected by the Turkish Courts under pretext that they didn't pay an amount of money (too big for their Poor Family) for a bureaucratic procedure.


- Victim's Mother denounced that Turkish Policemen, abusing of various pretexts, repeatedly arrested and ill-treated her Child aged only 12, probably because they wanted take revenge after she had sued them herself for Rape !  She said that the Child aged 12 "was arrested by (Turkish) Policemen while it was in School", and, after being "insulted", hit at the Head several times by Turkish Policemen while in Custody, who also pressed his kneck with their hands, and (afterwards) ..seized him by his Hair", the Child was "thrown ... at an Isolated cell, and afterwards "Beaten" by them, until "her son came back Home full of Blood and with a red eye".  A Medical Report found echymoses and hematomas at the Child's thigh and right eye, that ECHR found that "they had been provoked by the (Turkish) Police during Custody". By being "Beaten after put into Custody", the Child aged only 12, was submitted to "physical Pains and mental Suffering", which "can inspire feelings of Fear, Anxiety and Inferiority able to Humiliate and Degrade" his person.


- In consequence, EuroJudges concluded that "there was no normally available, nor sufficient (Legal) remedy" against Torture, "at Izmir".


- Observing that the identified Torturers were either entirely acquitted or all sanctions against them were suspended, ECHR found that Turkish Authorities "used, in fact, all national (Turkish) rules.. in order to Avoid any effective Condemnation of the prosecuted (Turkish) Policeman", (i.e. searched for Torturers' Impunity).


- In particular, "ECHR recalled that such a Failure ("Lack") of rigour in the application of the Penal and Disciplinary Law System, as in this case, doesn't dissuade (Turkish) Security Forces from commiting illegal acts, as such which are denounced by the applicant".


- ECHR reminded Turkey that Torturers cannot be legally covered up by Impunity through Time "Prescription", "Amnesty" or "Pardon", and Sanctions against them cannot be legally "suspended", etc., because of the particular Gravity and Seriousness of this kind of violation of Human Rights.


  +The Victim's Father also "denounced (excessive) Procedural Delays in Penal Law cases against (Turkish) Policemen". ECHR observed that, "in this case, the procedure started on .. 2003, .... and is still Pending" on 2010, i.e. for "a period" which "durates more than Seven (7) Years" (2003-2010) !..


In conclusion, ECHR "reminded" that it "has already found Many Times, in cases raising Similar Issues as in this case, that ..Art. 6" of the PanEuropean Convention vainly asking for an "Efficient Remedy" against Torture, "is violated" in Turkey.

------------------------    

       (b) In the 2nd of these cases, ECHR condemned anew Turkey for a persisting until now, total Impunity of Torturers, even against a Young Girl in her Twenties, again on December 14, 2010 :


- The Victim denounced that she had been "beatten by the (Turkish) Policemen when they arrested her", afterwards "she tried to throw herself out of the (Turkish) Police car which brought her to a Hospital", and,just one day later, "she tried to commit Suicide inside her Jail", because "she was haunted by the Memory of the Torture that the (Turkish) Police Agents inflicted to her", including by "Stripping her Naked, Insulting her, hunging her by her arms, tying her with ropes to a turning Wheel", "throwing icy water" to her body, "submitting her legs, fingers and Genital organs to Electrochocs" and "burning cigarettes" on her, "penetrating her Vagin with a Club", etc, at 2 differend Turkish "Police interrogations" both "at Diyarbakir" and "at Izmir", and "Raping her". Moreover, "at Izmir", Turkish Policmen "Photographed her Naked and Threatened to send the Photos to her Husband if she denounced the inflicted Torture".  That's why the victim,  "tried to Protect herself against more Torture by committing Suicide", as she denounced at various occasions later, ECHR noted.

- After some Medical Doctors used by the Turkish Police hastily claimed that they "didn't find any trace" of Torture, on the contrary, an Independent, Collective Report by the Order of Medical practitioners at Izmir, which checked the victim "15 times", from various "converging" points of view,  revealed that they "arrived at a Definitive Medical Conclusion that, during the period she was kept in custody, the victim had faced Tortures, and was Raped during these sessions of Torture".

- But, the Turkish Courts repeatedly droped any prosecution against the identified Turkish Policemen accused of Torture and Rape having provoked even Suicide attempts, claiming that they didn't see enough "proof", mainly because the Victim had "delayed" to act efficiently against her torturers, and rejected her complaint, already from 2004. This was also the claim of the Turkish "Government" itself, all these Years, until 2010 included, ECHR noted. But the Victim denounced that "she had faced Threats by the (Turkish) Policemen during the Mecical Examinations made under Custody", and that "those (Medical) Doctors (chosen by the Turkish Authorities) refused to note her complaints in their Reports", so that "they were not credible". Moreover, the victim "was a Mother who felt so Ashamed for having been submitted to Rape, that Speaking about that had pushed her to commit Suicide", and, despite being "an Analphabet, she had done whatever she could be expected from her" to alert the competent Authorities which had failed at their Duty to find, investigate and punish her Torturers. In parallel, "in order to make her drop her complaint for ill-treatment", "during all that Procedure before the Courts", the Turkish "Police Agents harassed herself and her Family", she denounced.

- ECHR observed that the Turkish "Attorney, despite an early Medical Report attesting of physical traces on the victim's body and her own denunciation that she had been sublitted to Rape during her Detention in prison", nevertheless, "hadn't deemed necessary to.order an examination.. neither to open immediately a Penal Investigation", as he should."This Delay (by the Turkish Authorities) to start a due enquiry, constituted a Serious Obstacle in the establishement of the Facts and provoked Difficulties into observing eventual traces of Violence on her body", ECHR criticized. Moreover, the Turkish Authorities didn't bring the Victim to a Hospital for a Medical Examination but only ..."5 Months Later (!) after she denounced" Torture and Rape, ECHR noted, while, in addition, "the Judicial Procedure" before the Turkish Courts "had a duration of more than 5 Years" more, "without any convincing explanation" for this supplementary gros delay, in blatant "Contradiction to the Celerity required in cases of Ill-treatment" complaints, ECHR found. Therefore, the Turkish State had Failed vis a vis its Duty to give "a Fast Reply from (its) Authorities" despite the fact that this "is Essential in order to preserve the Public's Trust in the Rule of Law", Failing also to "avoid any apparent Complicity or tolerance regarding illegal acts committed by Public Agents", ECHR stressed in conclusion, Unanimously Condemning Turkey for Violating the Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights which strictly prohibits Torture.

(NDLR : Fast Translations from the Original full ECHR Judgements, available only in French).

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=> Controversial Izmit (over-Millenary Smyrne)..
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+ The Fact that both these 2 cases in which ECHR condemned Turkey for a particularly scandalous total Impunity of Torturers, even of a Child aged only 12 and of a Young Woman, took place at Izmit (originally Smyrne), raises also a more Topical question :


Obviously because the over-Millenary Smyrne, is the City where even old Religious Priests were notoriously burned alive, many People brutally killed, Family Homes burned down, and all its over-Millenary Greek lawful Population chassed away by Turkish troops, becoming Refugees, their Homes and properties looted and usurpated, obliged to flee their Ancestral land by a massive "Ethnic Cleansing" imposed by Terrorist Massacers committed against unarmed Innocent People, without anyone among their Criminal Perpetrators ever being brought to Justice : The above mentioned New (See ECHR's 11 + 12/2010 Judgements on Torture cases, cited supra), and old (1922) Facts, obviously render that place even more inappropriate for a .. Human Rights PanEuropean Conference, that Turkey tries to oblige the CoE to organize at Izmir (Smyrne) on May 2011 for the Future reform of the ECHR itself, risking to discredit Strasbourg's Court by linking its Future with an unpunished Massacre and massive "Ethnic Cleansing" of innocent People.

It would, indeed, be an obviously Dangerous Paradox if CoE conceded to Turkey's pressure to impose  to EuroJudges, CoE's Experts, European Politicians, etc. to ...debate Human Rightswhile risking to be "welcomed", monitored, sorrounded, met and escorted by Torturers, including some of those Turkish Police Agents who committed such horrible Tortures, even of a Child aged 12 and/or a Young Girl, etc. in a  City notoriously marked by an unpunished Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing, (while many People personally affected by the unpunished Massacers, as, f.ex. Children of Refugees, etc., are still alive today)..


A place marked by unpunished, Massive Brutal Atrocities of a recent Past, and where horrible Torture, even of Children or helpless Young Women, etc. remains totally Unpunished until now ( 2010), as ECHR proved, is certainly not an appropriate place from which anyone might ever thing to make Credible Promisses to Europeans for a bright Human Rights Future...


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+ Verheugen or Hamilton ?
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Meanwhile,  Former EU Commissioner on Enlargement, Verheugen (Soc) who had notoriously claimed that .. "Torture in Turkey is not Systematic" (sic !), in the framework of his well known attempt to impose, at any price, Turkey's impopular EU bid, has just got a .. systematic Job, openly hired, paid and directed by Turkey, as Commercial Expert of the Turkish Foreign Trade office. !..  
The astonishing, and extremely unusual, if not shocking fact, (given also Verheugen's former EU Commission's portofolio on EU's Enlargement, during crucial years for Turkey's controversial, impopular and expensive EU bid), was strongly denounced by a MEP of the same Political Group as Mr. Verheugen : Socialist MEP Antigoni Pericleous-Papadopoulou from Cyprus, who raised issues of Incompatibility and possible Conflict of Interests in a written Question tabled on 2010 to EU Commission's President José Barroso.


Barroso's written reply, communicated by MEP Pericleous to "EuroFora", reveals that a competent EU body examined, indeed, recently, this controversial aspect of former Commissioner Verheugen's job at a Turkish Exports lobbyist, but, reportedly, didn't manage to find it, at that moment, irregular.


- "That's not good !". But "I understand that he (Verheugen) has opened a Consultant's business at Potsdam", reacted another German, ChristianDemocrat MEP, the experienced, long-time


- "What is the most important of all, is that Human Dignity must be respected !", laconically, but substantially, reacted also the President of Germany's Konrad Adenauer Foundation, experienced former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, to an "EuroFora"s relevant question.


+ MEP Pericleous' reaction also reminded that Verheugen's notorious wish to push Turkey's controversial, impopular and expensive EU bid, also had led him to hastily claim, back on 2004, that a controversial 5th version of a UN Secretariat's Draft, prepared by a Brittish former UN Official (who even spoke Turkish, but not Greek at all ..), would have been .. perfectly in conformity with EU's Values, despite many controversial exceptions and heavy derogations against Human Rights, f.ex. of Refugees, "Missing" persons, etc., as well as clear Risks, instead of, at last, succeeding to guarantee a real Peaceful reUnification of the Country, (f.ex. by creating Common Interests to all its Citizens), on the Contrary, to lead to a dangerous slippery slope towards generating Separate, Dissending, Conflicting Interests (even Economic), usually pushing to Conflicts, particularly if they are cynically exploited by neighbouring 3rd Countries, as in Cyprus' past history..

alexanderhamiltonuscapstat_400

Something that the famous American Constitutionalist, Alexander Hamilton, had strongly denounced, and warned against, in his Historic "Federalist" Papers, launching a call to save USA's Future from a repetition of similar bloody Crisis as the former Civil War, by building a really Unified Country, in a way based into generating Common Interests, to be dealt with by one efficient Federal State.  Hamilton's ideas and active contributions were, notoriously, decisive in order to help North America pass from a mere, shaky and unstable Con-Federation, to a stable and functional Federal State : the USA.

***

 

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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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