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Home arrow newsitems arrow New ChristianDemocrat/EPP President A.Fischer to EF: CoE 1/2017 RDV v.Threat to Democracy in Turkey

New ChristianDemocrat/EPP President A.Fischer to EF: CoE 1/2017 RDV v.Threat to Democracy in Turkey

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
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 *Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- An Exceptional Row on if,  and when, Turkey should go Back to be submitted to a CoE's "Monitoring" process, (a Move with Key Effects on any EU Candidacy), sometimes during Next Year (2017), bursted out at the Voting of a CoE Assembly Resolution which denounces "a Threat to ... Democratic Institutions" in Ankara, because of "the Latest Developments" Against "Freedom of Media, and of Expression, Erosion of Rule of Law, and the Human Rights' Violations ... in (the) South East", (but which Also Directly Concerns, at least on 2 or 3 Key Topical Points, even of EU Citizens' basic Democratic Freedoms, inside the EU)...

Turkish MEPs desperately Attempted to Erase that Crucial Sentence, with which "Concludes" a Long Report on "the Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Turkey", Drafted by Norwegian and Serb MEPs, Ms Ongebjerg Godskesen and Natasa Vuskovic, from the 2 Biggest Political Groups, (that of ChristianDemocrats and Socialists, respectively), but Failed, since a Crystal-Clear Majority in CoE's Assembly obviously Wanted to Stress that Key point.

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In Consequence, a "Hot" and Long Discussion Started, at the Voting Time, on Various other MEPs' Proposals, (via Written and/or Oral, Last-Minute Amendments), on Whether and at Which precise Moment, CoE would "Re-Open" its "Monitoring Procedure" on Turkey, if not Now (June 2016), at least sometime during the First Months of 2017, ("on January" or "April" PACE Sessions, etc. ?)


That Issue is of particular Importance for the final Fate of  Turkey's Controversial and UnPopular EU bid, since, when a Decision had been Taken, back on 2004-2005 to Start relevant EU - Turkey Negotiations, (notoriously Provoking EU Citizens' "No" to 3 EuroReferenda on a Draft EU Constitution, in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005-2007), it was Only After CoE had been pushed (under a Series of Conditions) to Close its Monitoring process for Manifold Violations of Human Rights and basic Democratic Principles by the Turkish Regime, after "Hot" Debates, back on 2004.


Topicaly, it comes shortly after even Brittish Prime Minister David Cameron, (who had been pushed by the Out-Going Socialist USA President Barak Hussein Obama, right after his 1st Official Visit to America, on 2010, to suddenly declare a pro-Turkey EU Accession stance, that he had Never developed during his pre-Electoral Campain), notoriously Stated, in the Context of the  Current "BREXIT" Debate on Tomorrow's National Referendum on whether the UK should Stay or Leave the EU, that "Turkey won't Enter into the EU until the Year 3.000 !"...  ""I can't find a single expert who thinks that Turkey's going to join the EU", reportedly vowed the Brittish Prime Minister, in a new Surprizing move.


 - This Evening in Strasbourg, the New President of PACE's Biggest Political Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, mainstream German MEP Axel Fischer, speaking to "Eurofora" just After the Votes (See Infra), appeared Firm on Principles :


 - "It's very Clear :" CoE's Assembly "adopted a Report on the Situation in Turkey, with a Lot of Criticisms, and We Called Turkey to proceed in the Right Way, to Accept Human Rights, to Accept Democracy" according to "Europe"'s Standards.


+ "And We (PACE) Will Look at it, Next Time, from January 2017, and will Discuss it", he Warned.


- When "Eurofora" Wondered IF it really will be January or, may be April, if not even Later on", in 2017, (See the relevant MEPs' Votes on this Crucial, "Timing" Issue), Axel Fischer was Adamant :


- "No, ... We (PACE) shall Discuss it on January" 2017, he Insisted. And that, "Independently" of whether the forthcoming New Report on Turkey's Post-Monitoring Turkey will be Ready then, or Not, he Clarified in anOther Reply to "Eurofora"s Questions.


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But Today's Big Fluctuations in Strasbourg, among several MEPs, indicated that in Fact, the Reality is much more Complex...


Initially, even the Leader of the French Delegation to CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, René Rouquet, from the Governing Socialist Party, together with his Compatriot from main Opposition "Republican" Party (Center Right) Bernard Fournier, as well as German ChristianDemocrat/EPP Thomas Feist, Italian,  Swiss, Belgian and Moldavian Socialists, Florian Kronbichler, Pierre-Alain Fridez, Dirk Van der Maelen and Andrei Neguta, Bulgarian Conservative Valeri Simeonov, etc., had Tabled 2 "Hot" Amendments asking to Immediately "Re-Open the (CoE's) Monitoring procedure", Right Now, because "the Turkish Authorities Failed to Fulfill the Requirements" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, that CoE had set up for Ankara.


But, Today, he Declared that he Prefered to Vote for a Last-Minute, Compromise "Oral Amendment", reportedly suggested via the PACE's co-Rapporteurs, with a quite Differend position, according to which, CoE's Assembly "Will Assess", on "2017", Turkey's moves "on All 12 Items" that Ankara had Promissed to Settle at the above-mentioned 2004 PACE Decision which had Stoped Monitoring Turkey, and, thereby, Had Given a "Green Light" to the Controversial and UnPopular Ankara's EU Bid, (Comp. Supra), as well as "on the (supplementary) Items Discussed in the Present (2016) Resolution".


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PACE's RESOLUTION
(as Amended at the Last Minute) :
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That Text, Adopted Today in Strasbourg by CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly with a Majority of 96 Votes against Only 24, and 10 Abstentions, inter alia, Denounces "Recent Developments in Turkey", which "Raised Serious Questions about the Functioning of Democratic Institutions", and "Highlighted Concurring and Serious Concerns, that Turkey should Address, withOout Further Delay".


 - "The Disclosure of Corruption Cases, on ... December 2013, allegedly Involving 4 Ministers and the Son of ... Erdogan, Marked the Beginning of Changes, ... in particular .... Restrictive Legislation... and Enhanced Control of the Executive over the Judiciary", the "Creation of Special Courts", and the "Increasing (of) the ...capacity of Blocking WebSites".


- CoE also "Regrets that  Peace Talks to address the Kurdish Issue Collapsed in Summer 2015", "Leading to Increased Violence", and "is Very Concerned about the Decision ... to Strip a large number of Parliamentarians of their Immunity from Prosecution", which "DisProportionately Affects the Opposition", and "in particular the People's Democratic Party", in a way which "could Damage Parliamentarian Life", leaving CoE "Worried".


- PACE is also "Very Worried about the Human Consequences of the Lengthy, Round the Clock Curfews, Imposed in 22 Districts, ... and Affecting 1,6 Million People", which "Resulted in the DisPlacement of 355.000 People", "Restrictions in Access to Water, Electricity, Education and Health care, including Emergency HC", that "proved Fatal for Many Residents" : "At least 338 Civilians were reported Dead, ... 458 Security Officers Killed, ...2.563 PKK Members Killed inside Turkish territory, and 2.366 Others in Iraq during AirStrikes" by Ankara's Invading Military, (Against which Protested both the Regional, pro-USA, Kurdish Administration, but also the National Iraqi Government, from Bagdad), according to Official Sources.


- "The Future of Displaced Persons (+355.000) is Uncertain", and "Large parts of the Areas Under Curfew were Destroyed". Including even a "Site" "Classified as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage", "in 2015", CoE Denounces, finding that "Especially Regrettable".


Interestingly, concerning this Particular "UNESCO World Cultural Heritage" site, "in the Ancient Part of Sur", (a Suburb of Diyarbakir with remnants of Historic Armenian Christian Churches, as well as of Jewish Synagues and later Muslim Mosques all Together), Turkish MEPs' Claim that so-called "Explosive Devices" would have been "Buried by Terrorists" there, was Rejected by Crystal-Clear Majority of 88 MEPs against Only 42.


UNESCO's  Good Will Ambassador, Zulfu Livanelli (a Modern Artist of Turkish Origin), recently Resigned, on this occasion, reportedly Protesting against "the Destruction of the Historic Heritage at Sur : "Keep Silence when such Violations are taking place, Contradicts UNESCO's  Ideals", he slammed.


+ Moreover, Pointing at "allegations of Serious Human Rights Violations", PACE's Resolution finds that they "Require Due and Effective Investigation", ("Before the Areas are Cleared", as far as "Evidence" Collection is concerned).


An Attempt by Turkish MEPs to "Delete" a PACE's Call to "Set up a Fact-Finding Mission, including Independent Experts and Personalities, Trusted by All Sides of Turkish Society", to "Publish Credible Reports", was Rejected by a Strong Majority of about One Hundred MEPs, against only 28, concluding in favor of an such an Urgent Independent Enquiry.


This Covers also, f.ex., CoE Assembly's "Deep Concern, over the Death of 4 Civilians", (Including a Child), "Seriously Wounded during the (Turkish) Curfew", regarding whom, "the Turkish Government, Defying (a Call to Take Urgent) "Interim Measures", launched "by the ECHR" in Strasbourg, "Denied these (Wounded) Civilians' Access to Medical Aid". In addition, PACE "Notes that .. the Lawyer who Appealed to the ECHR for (Urgent) Interim Measures to Transfert these and Many Other Wounded Civilians to Hospitals, was Arrested" this Month, CoE's Adopted Resolution denounces.


++ But, in the Meantime, CoE "is Appalled by ... Retrospective Legislation", which Imposes a "Permission" by "Superiors" as Necessary, Before being able to "Prosecute Violations of Human Rights", "and EmPowers the Military ... to Conduct Security Operations Bypassing the Jurisdiction of Courts", as a, Adopted Last-Minute Amendment points out.


+++ CoE "is also Worried about the Arrest, in South-East Turkey, of 21 Democratically - Elected Kurdish Mayors, and the Dismissal of 31 Others, on Controversial Charges", which has "Further Damaged the already Weak Logal Governments in Conflict Areas", while, "the preparation of Legislation which would Empower Governors to Appoint (sic !) New Mayors", (instead of Electing them, Democraticaly), "also Raises Questions".


- "With regard to Freedom of Expression and of the Media", PACE Denounced the "Alarming Scale of recourse to an Overly Wide Notion of "Terrorism"", in order "to Punish (even) Non-Violent Statements", (for which, also CoE's Human Rights Commissioner, has recently expressed his "Concern").


+ In Addition, CoE's Resolution Strongly Criticizes, concerning "Protection of the Safety of Journalists, and Media Freedom", also "the Latest Developments in the field of Freedom of Expression", about "Concerns that Changes ... in Ownership of Media Companies Serving Business' Interests, were Motivated by, and have Resulted in, significant Political Influence on the Media".


An Attempt by Turkish MEPs to Contest the certainty of such a "Political Influence on Media", through  "Changes in Ownership", as Practiced by Ankara's regime,  (by "Replacing" it with a "Might have led", in order to import Doubt), was Rejected by a Strong Majority in CoE's Assembly, of 96 MEPS against only 33, (given also the existence of several Examples of Muzzling and/or Firing Dissident and/or Critical Journalists under any Fallacious Pretext, etc).


++ Even more Important for EU Citizens, Strasbourg's Organization for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, strongly "Condemned" a Call by the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for its Citizens Residing Abroad", (particularly in Europe), "to Report cases of (so-called) Disrespect to the President of Turkey", Mr. Erdogan, "with a view to Filling Cases in Foreign Countries".


This Last-Minute Amendment, (concerning, practicaly, Turkish Migrants, acting on Orders issued Abroad by Ankara's regime to systematicaly Spy and Prosecute European Journalists, Politicians, NGOs, concerned Citizens, etc), was Tabled by the Presidents of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP and EuroLEFT Groups, Axel Fischer of Germany, and Tiny Cox of the Netherlands, as well as various Other Socialist, Liberals, EPP or Leftist MEPs, from Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc).


+++ A Fortiori when CoE's Parliamentary Assembly "is Deeply Concerned about the Prosecution of Invesigative Journalists, following their Investigations into Topics of General Interest", and, moreover, "Appalled by the Harsh Prison Sentences issues Against these Journalists" by the Turkish Authorities.


Even "Academics who Signed a Peace Declaration, Calling for an End to the Military Campaign in South-East Turkey, and Accusing the Government of Breaching International Law", were "Prosecuted", in "anOther Example that Raises Serious Questions about the Scope of the (Turkish) Anti-Terror Law", denounces another Amendment, exceptionaly Adopted by PACE "Unanimously".


- "Of the Initial 1.128 Signatories of the Declaration, 495 Academics are Under Investigation", while the Turkish "Police reportedly Detained briefly 27 of them", "on 14 January 2016", "Four" more "Petitioners were Arrested and Detained on 16 March 2016 on Charges of "Terrorist Propagada", and "Released" only More than a Month and a Week Later, "on 22 April 2016", (Meanwhile Changing the "Charges of Terrorism", in view of Other, about "Insulting the State"). But, in Addition, More "Criminal and Disciplinary Proceedings had been Launched (also) against Other Petitioners, for a Statement Calling for an End to Violence, which, for (COE's) Human Rights' Commissioner, fell withIN the Boundaries of Free Speech".


++++ Moreover, CoE's PanEuropean "Assembly remains Concerned about the Large Number of Websites Blocked (110.000)" in Turkey. "Blocking Websites" is "a Highly DisProportionate Measure, which Impedes the Public's Right to have Access to, and be Provided with, Information on the Internet, and Negatively Impacts Media Pluralism", (i.e. a Democracy and/or Fair Elections -related Issue), "and Free Expression", stressed MEPs.

>>> On this Occasion, PACE's June 2016 Resolution "recalls that Journalists and Other Media Actors", (NDLR: Who, according to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, CoE's Experts and/or Top EU/Global Media NGOs' Leaders, should be considered, in Fact, as De Facto, Real Journalists in Modern Times, according to the actual Content of their Regular Activities, while, on the Contrary, some Pseudo-"Journalists" exploiting Merely some Money Paid to them by a Business in order to Take Hold of Corporatist "Cards", have Nothing to do with all this : See, f.ex. : ....), "Make an Essential Contribution to Public Debate, and the Opinion-Making processes Needed in a Democratic Society".  So that "CoE's Member States have (also) a Positive Obligation to Ensure Freedom of Expression, Protection of Journalists, and Access to Information, and to Create Conditions to EnAble them to Act as Public or Social Watchdogs, and Inform the Public on Matters of General Interest", as a matter of General Principle.

+++++ But, in Turkey, "Too Many Measures currently taken by the Authorities, .. have a Chilling Effect", and/or "Lead to Self-Censorship", CoE Denounces, "including", f.ex., "Investigations, Prosecutions, and the Interpretation of teh Penal Code by domestic Courts", added even to "Attacks on Journalists, and Punishment of Journalists doing their Job", etc. "Therefore", PACE "Urges Turkey to secure a Favorable Enironment for Freedom of Expression, as Guaranteed by Article 10 of the (PanEuropean) Convention (on Human Rights), and to Implement (the Recent) Recommendation (2016) 4 of (CoE's) Committee of Ministers, on the Protection of Journalism, and Safety of Journalists and Other Media Actors", (Comp. Supra)


A Turkish MEPs' Attempt to "Delete" this Latest COE's Appeal, was clearly Crushed by a Record-High Majority of 106 Votes, against Only 21...

++++++ "Further", concerning also Other among the "Current Restrictions on Freedom of Information", that Ankara has "To Overcome",  CoE's Assembly "invites Turkey" to "Improve (its) Legal Frameork", "in the Light of March 2016" Viewpoint "of (the PanEuropean Organisation's Watchdog on Constitutional Law) "Venise Commission", in a Series of Concrete Points :


(1) and (2)  "Repeal" those "Articles of (Turkish) Penal Code", which Punish what they name as "Insulting the President of the Republic", (i.e. Mr. Erdogan), or as "Degrading the Turkish Nation, the State" and/or its "Organs and Institutions", ("or Amend" the 2nd to "Limit its Aplication" Only to "Statements Inciting Violence and Hatred", but also "in Line with ECHR's Case Law").


(3) "Limt the Use of Article 216", also with "Proportionate Criminal Sanctions, Only in cases of Open Incitement to Violence, Armed Resistance, or Uprising", and "Only .. in Extreme Cases of Religious Insults, or Calls for Public Violence" and 'Not" merely for "Harsh Criticism against Government Policies", "Nor for Mere Blasphem". (4) Last, but Not Least, Turkey should adopt "a Strict Interpretation" of its "Article 314" on "Membership of an Armed Organisation", "so as to Limit it" Not to "Cases .. of Freedom of Expression, and Assembly", But Only in "Acts" with "Continuity, Diversity and Intensity", revealing an "Organic Relationship with an Armed Organisation, or ... Committed Knowingly and Wilfully, withIN (its) Hierarchical Structure".


AnOther Turkish MEPs' Attempt, (made "Solo", as in Most such Cases...), to "Delete" or "Replace" the above mentioned Cases 1 and 2, was anew Strongly Rejected by a very Wide PACE Majority of 103 or 110 Votes, against Only 28 or 22...


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- On Corruption, PACE "Urges Turkey" to "Implement a GRECO Recommendation" (from CoE's ANti-Corruption Watchdog) to make a "Judicial Reform" for "a more Reliable Judicial System, Executing Judicial Services in an Independent and Impartial way, and Concluding Trials wihin a Reasonable Time".


CoE's "Assembly" is also "Very Concerned about Recent Statements" by Erdogan and Turkish Ministers, "Not to Respect a Decision ... on the UnLawfulness of the PreTrial Detention on Investigative Journalists", "Based on ECHR's Case Law". Therefoe, CoE "Urges Turkish Officials to Refrain from undully Interfering in the Judiciary, and (from) Challenging the Rule of Law".


 - "Recent Developments and Amendments to the Law ... Raised the Issue of the Lack of Independence of the Judiciary, and Undue Interference by the Executive" in Turkey, PACE's Resolution denounces.


- "Sharing Concerns" which have "Seriously Undermined the Trust of the Public in its Judiciary", (after "the Appointment of the -normaly Elected-  Members of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors", "Disciplinary Proceedings, including a Number of Dismissals", "and the potential Influence of the Executive", "Further Triggered the Debate concerning ... Independence of .. Judges and Prosecutors"), "Calling Turkey to"


(A) "Strengthen the Security of tenure of Judges, and Ensure  that Evaluations of Performance", or "Disciplinary Proceedings", "are Free from Undue Influence".  (B) "Reduce the Influence of the Executive" vis a vis "Judges and Prosecutors".


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=> In Consequence, CoE's "Assembly Concludes, that the Latest Developments" in Turkey "constitute a Threat to the functioning of Democratic Institutions",  (considering f.ex. "Freedom of Media and of Expression, Erosion of Rule of Law", "Human Rights Violations", particularly "in South East", mainly Kurdish Regions, etc : Comp. Supra). An Attempt by Turkish MEPs to "Replace" that Crucial Point, was Defeated by a Crystal-Clear Majority of 93 Votes against Only 42, (i.e. More than the Double).

>>> Therefore, 2 written Amendments to Immediately "Open the Monitoring Procedure, with respect to Turkey", (whose "Closure", since Back on 2004, had Facilitated the Beginning of EU - Turkey Negotiations on Ankara's Controversial and UnPopular EU bid), Because "Turkey Failed to Meet the Requirements of the POST-Monitoring Dialogue", had been Tabled by 9 mainstream MEPs, from France and Germany, as well as Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands,  Belgium, Bulgaria and Moldova, etc.

- But, at the Last Minute, French Socialist MEP René Rouquet, Announced that this Group "Withdrew" its Amendments, "Following Discussions in the (Monitoring) Committee", (as usual, Behind Closed Doors), and "in a Spirit of Compromise".


=> Instead, he said that, Now, the "Only (Critical) Amendment" which "Remains", on the Consequences of PACE Reports' recent Findings (Comp. Supra), was anOther Written Amendment, "which .. would make (at least) Minimum Requirements on Turkey".


- That Alternative Amendment, Tabled by Experienced Dutch MEP Peter Omtzigt, and Signed also by 2 Presidents of Groups (Axel Fischer from Germany for the ChristianDemocrats/EPP,  and Dutch Senator Tiny Cox the Left), as well as several Other Mainstream MEPs (including certain Socialists or Liberal) from Austria, Sweden, Germany and Denmark, Clearly Warned that PACE "RESERVES the Right to Re-Open the Monitoring procedure, at  its JANUARY 2017 Session, IF No Marked and Concrete Progress has been Made on the Items in this Resolution", (Comp. Supra).

+ However, Socialist MEP from Austria, Stefan Schennach, finaly Prefered to Push for a quite Different, "Oral" Amendment, meanwhile reportedly Tabled "by the Rapporteurs", asking to "Reject" even the Above mentioned "Minimum Requirements", "Compromise" Amendment, (as Rouquet had called it : Comp. Supra).


++ Also Socialist MEP, and PACE's Co-Rapporteur, Ms Vuckovic, from Serbia, intervened in order to Justify that Unique ("No 1") "Oral" Amendment, which simply Warns Turkey that real or insufficient "Progress (to be) made on All ... Items, ... Will be Assessed in the Post-Monitoring Report to be presented in 2017", (i.e. withOut Fixing any precise Month).


- For that purpose, she Argued that she "Thought that we (CoE) should Give some (More) Time to our Turkish collegues", and Wait (also Because of an Alleged "Difficulty" of COE's "Requirements", however known since a Decade), until PACE presents, "Next Year" (i.e. at some undetermined yet Date of 2017), its New "Post-Monitoring Report, ... which is going to Respond to All (relevant) Questions", and Not only "on 3 Items", as the Present Report "that we are Debating Now", (as if the Damning Facts that it Reveals Now, would have been Insufficient, in her View...).


Nonobstant the Public Expression of an "Opposition" by More than "10 MEPs" (as PACE's Rules require in order to Block any "Oral" Amendment), including, at the Last Minute, several "Armenians", (as Turkish MEP Disli found that he should Note, Asking to "Rule Out" those MEPs' Opposition), the Chairing MEP from FYROM, Mr. Nikoloski, Accepted that Turkish Objection, and Refused to Take into Account that Opposition to which had Joined "Armenian" MEPs, putting that Controversial "Oral" Amendment immediately to a Vote.

It passed Easily, ...Despite a "No" Vote, by certain Important MEPs, such as the Competent Rapporteur of the Biggest Goup in PACE : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Dutch Pieter Omtzigt, Italy's recently Winning (f.ex. at Rome + Turin Mayorships, etc) "50 Stars" Movement, Manlio Di Stefano ; Swiss MEPs and Senators Filippo Lombardi (a ChristianDemocrat/EPP) and Lilane Maury-Pasquier, (a Socialist, President of PACE's Committte on Rules) ;  Greek MEP Dora Bakoyannis, (a Former Foreign Minister, President of PACE's sub-Committee on OECD + BERD) ; "Georgian Dream"'s MEPs Eka Beselia and Manana Kobakhidze, (Socialists) ;  Atypical "Green" MEPs from Iceland and Italy, Ogmundur Jonasson and Florian Kronbichler ;  German MEP Andreij Hunko (EuroLeft) ;  Danish ChristianDemocrat/EPP Rasmus Nordquist ; Armenian MEPs Armen Rustamyan, (a former Ambassador, and vice-President of the Socialist Group), as well as Naira Zohrabyan, (Conservative) ;  and Young Bosnia-Hzerzegobina MEP Sasa Magazinovic (Socialist) , etc.

To whom were Added also several "Abstaining" Key MEPs, such as, former PACE President, French ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jean-Claude Mignon ; the Head of the French Delegation to PACE, René Rouquet, from the Governing Socialist Party ; Norwegian Conservative MEP Morten Wood, from the Governing Coalition "Progress" Party ; Czech ChristianDemocrat MEP Gabriella Peckova ; Maria Postoico (from the former Long-Time Govrening Communist Party in Moldova) ;  Ukranian ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEPs Volodymyr Ariev (of President "Petroshenko's Bloc"), and Sergiy Vlasenko, (former ECHR Lawyer of Gulia Timoshenko, Leader of Party, and former Prime Minister : Comp. f.ex. Vlasenko's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions at the ECHR, in ....) ; Belgian Senator Philippe Mahoux, (a Socialist and vice-President of PACE's "Monitoring" Committee); etc.  

Exceptionaly, Not even 1 Turkish MEP didn't Vote Against, Nor Abstained, on that "Oral", Last Minute "Compromise" Amendment..

But when PACE returned Back to the Above-Mentioned "Alternative", Written Amendment, (which stressed PACE's "Resolve to Closely Follow the Situation in Turkey", and "Reserves the Right to Re-Open the Monitoring procedure, at its January 2017 session, IF No Marked and Concrete Progress has been made on the Items of this Resolution"), the Chairing MEP from FYROM, M. Nikoloski, Anounced that "the Committee on Monitoring" (Represented by its Socialist Vice-President Mahoux, from Belgium), had lodged anOther "Oral, Sub-Amendment", Extending the Time Deadline allocated to Turkey, from "January" to "April 2017".

 - Invited by Nikoloski to speak, Dutch MEP Pieter Omtzigt observed that "this .. came about, Because  the Rapporteurs (Socialist Serb Vuckovic, and Norwegian EPP Godseken) had said that They are Visting Turkey (only) on November" 2016, (probably since Ankara didn't accept Earlier... ), so that "Their Report will Not be Ready .. in January" 2017. "That's why that Suggestion of April".  


+ But the President of the ChristianDemocrat Group, German MEP Axel Fischer, Denounced "a bit of Confusion", and "Recommend(ed)" to "Reject Modifying" the Alternative, Written Amendment, (which pointed at "January 2017)", "Because", Otherwise, (i.e. if that "Oral Sub-Amendment" was adopted, Extending the Time Deadline on "April" 2017), then, it (i.e. the Alternative, Written Amendment, (Warning Turkey that PACE "Reserves its Right to Re-Open a Monitoring procedure, IF..", etc : Comp. Supra), "would No Longer Make any Sense", as he Criticized.  


(Probably Because, if the Time Deadline given to Turkey for Necessary Reforms, was Extended up to "April" 2017, then it could Coincide with the Moment that PACE would Debate and Vote on the New Post-Monitoring Report on Turkey,
Therefore, Axel Fischer Advised to Drop that "Oral Sub-Amendment" (about "April" 2017), and Better Stick to the Initial "Written Amendment" (about "January" 2017 : Comp. Supra).


But the Socialist vice-President of PACE's "Monitoring" Committee, Belgian MEP Mahoux, agreed with Chairing MEP Nikoloski from FYROM that the Committee was "in Favour" of that "Oral Sub-Amendment" (Extending Turkey's Time Deadline until "April" 2017), and Pieter Omtzigt, apparently Trying to Find a Compromise, Thought that "Both Amendments are Possible", (i.e. to Warn Turkey that "Monitoring" could be "Re-Opened", as Back Before 2004/2005, IF Ankara did NOt make Enough "Progress" on the Discussed Main Points, until "April" 2017). He said that this Possibility had been "Discussed in Committee".


Thus, MEPs Voted to Adopt that "Oral Sub-Amendment", and Turned their Eyes towards the Fate of the Main, "Written" Amendment, as Modified Now, (Comp. Supra).
- But, Suddenly, the Socialist Co-Rapporteur, Ms Vuckovic from Serbia, started to Claim that, Now, (i.e. After Extending the Time Deadline for "April" 2017), "It is Not Necessary (not even) to Mention this ("Written") Amendment. Probably Because April 2017 could Coincide with PACE's Debate and Vote on the New Post-Monitoring Report on Turkey, and, therefore, at any case, It goes without Saying that "It is within the Competence of this (CoE's) Assembly, once we have Considered the Pos-Monitoring Report, to Take a Position on Whether we Should Re-Open Monitoring" for Turkey, as she Explained Now.

=> The Result of All This, was for tha PACE to Reject, Finaly, that "Written" Amendment, as it was Modified in the meantime, (Comp. Supra), even if this was obtained with Only a Displacement of Just ... 2 (Two) Voters : i.e. with an Exceptionaly Small Difference of Only 4 Votes More for its Rejection : 64 For, Against 68, and 10 Abstentions... All Turkish MEPs Voted Against, (with the Only Exception of 2 MEPs from the Pro-Kurdish Party HDP, Most Representatives of which, are notoriously Facing Threats of Prosecution, after their Immunity was Scandalously Lifted : Comp. Supra).

 - "This (i.e. that Final Outcome) is the Minimum, that PACE could Do Now on Turkey. In fact, It's Better than Nothing !", Criticized the Experienced German MEP Hunko (EuroLeft), speaking to "Eurofora" just after the Votes. Hunko didn't exclude that the Adopted "Oral" Amendment (Comp. Supra) can "Imply" (even without Saying so Explicitly) that Turkey Risks to Face a Re-Opening of a "Monitoring" procedure, IF it doesn't make the Necessary Reforms.

 

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+ "We (PACE) are doing the Decision on Turkey Next year (2017). But It's Not Excluded that PACE's Report on Turkey's Post-Monitoring Dialogue, might be Ready only ...on June 2017", Warned another Experienced, mainstream MEP, Schennach, from Austria (a Socialist and Former President of the Committee on Monitoring), in subsequent Statements to "Eurofora".

- However, the New President of PACE's Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Axel Fischer from Germany, speaking to "Eurofora", was Adamant :  - "The (Crucial) Point on Turkey (i.e. for the Apraisal of whether Ankara Meets, or Not, its main Obligations) will Start from January 2017", he practically told us, speaking Firmly, and with a Strong Voluntarism, (Comp. also Supra).


 --------------------------------


    - Meanwhile, Speaking at PACE's Plenary, Earlier Today, the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, "Start(ed) by Expressing (his) Deep Feelings and Gratitude", Because, "I canNot Forget the Message send by the CoE to Greek People" in the Past, "when we were Fighting for Democracy, under the Dictatorship" : "CoE made it Possible for those who Resisted ... to Express Themselved, and to Give Witness to the Fact that there were Political Prisoners, and that People wee being Tortured", he Reminded.

    + Moreover, "CoE isolated and Condemned that Regime", and "on 30° January 1969, PACE Closed the Door to (that) Greece, and Recommended that the Committee of Ministers should Exclude it from the CoE. That Resolutely Democratic Decision, was very much In Line with CoE's Values and Obtectives, as well as one that Protected Human Rights, the Parliamentary System, and the Rule of Law in its Member States", PM Tsipras concluded on this (obviously Topical) Point.

 

(../..)

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