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Home arrow newsitems arrow PACE Bureau to Turkey: STOP Military Invasion in Syrian Kurdish area,Respect Human Rights+Seek Peace

PACE Bureau to Turkey: STOP Military Invasion in Syrian Kurdish area,Respect Human Rights+Seek Peace

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

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*Strasbourg/Council of Europe/Angelo Marcopolo/- In 4 Points read by an official with a Mandate by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) Bureau, the PanEuropean Organisation's Top Political Body asked Turkey to Stop its Mlitary Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Region, (while also appealing to the UN SC to Back Further this Call), and called Turkey to Respect Human Rights, as well as to Seek Peace.

 

 
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At least PACE's 4 Biggest Political Groups (those of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Liberals, Socialists, and EuroLeft), supported such a move, which, (as PACE's Presidency confirmed Twice), might, eventually, be followed, from Friday, also by a formal Report and Resolution, due to be Debated in Public and Voted by the Plenary Later-on.


Ankara's Military Intervention was qualified, by "very" or "Deeply Concerned" Speakers on behalf of PACE's Bureau and the main Groups, as "Shocking", "Alarming", "Worrying" and "Extremely Serious", with "Severe Consequences", (particularly "for the Civilian Population").
The "Turkish Authorities" were accused to "put Extra Fuel on the Fire", their Claims to have "No Proof", and the Turkish "Army (to) Enter Syria in order to Stay there", provoking "Instability" and "further Undermining Security", also by further "Upseting the Kurdish Communities in Turkey" : - "The Longer the Interventon in Syria Lasts, and the More Violence is used, the More Internal Tensions in Turkey will Grow and lead to new Explosions of Violence", warned Tiny Cox, from the Netherlands, speaking in behalf of PACE's Bureau.


- Already, "there are Many Victims" even "among ... Non-Combatants", i.e."Innocent Victims", as "Shells Rain down on Residential Areas", Denounced Romanian MEP Stroe, on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group. "The Number of Civilian Victims of Bombardments is Mounting, Day by Day". And "Thousands of Civilians are reported to be Fleeing the Province", added Armenian MEP Marukyan, on behalf of the Liberal Party.


- Significally, The  endangered Civilians are "the same People who Fled the Barbary of ISIL (and) now Fear for their Lives again" : Almost 800.000 Civilians, (among them Many Yazidi and Christian Refugees". "They Now Fear the Jihadist Groups operating in the Shadows of the Turkish offensive", Stroe denounced. "The Region was one of the Few Parts  of Syria that was relatively Stable and UnTouched by the .. Conflict". But "it Now faces the full-scale Consequences of the Turkish Offensive", Marukyan observed. A formerly "Peaceful, Olive-Producing, Kurdish Majority Town of Afrin has been Turned into a Theater of War", added Kurkcu, on behalf of the EuroLeft Group of MEPs.


- "Our Most Important Concern is the Safety of  Innocent Civilians", and "All Parties involved" ("in particular those who Initiated that Armed Conflict") "Bear the Responsibility for Protecting Civilians", while "a New Wave of Refugees" profiles at the Horizon, since "Turkey Risks Esclating Syria's Humanitarian Crisis, and Civilians are in Danger", by "the Consequences of the Turkish Assault" : Already "the UN estimate that 5.000 People have been Displaced by Clashes" "in NW Syria", and, "Furthermore, an estimated  323.000 Civilians are at Great Risk", Warned Ms Mikko, from Estonia, on behalf of the Socialist Group. "Thousands of Civilians are reported to be Fleing the province". There is an "Emergency situation and Civlian Casualties as a result of Attacks on (formerly) Peaceful Towns and Cities", Marukyan pointed out. "According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, .. many Civilians, including Children and the Elderly, have Lost their Lives in Air Raids and Artillery Shelling, while Thousands have Fled their Homes", Kurkcu noted.

+ Moreover, "this (Turkish Military) Operation has Opened up an Unecessary New Front", "and could Divert the Coalition-Backed Syrian Kurdish Combattants from the Main and Essential Objective ; The Fight against ISIL and Other Terrorist Groups", she pointed out.

++ Meanwhile, the Turkish Government "says that those Who want to use the Fundamental Rights of Freedom to Gather and Freedom of Expression, to Oppose this Military Intervention, will <<Pay a High Price>> (sic !)", Cox Warned. "Many Tens of People who have Called on the Government to Stop the War, have been Arrested", observed Kurckcu. Already, "Turkey has Detained ... 150 People for  Writing Social Media Posts about its Military Campaign, against the Kurdish Militia in Syria, since the Operation Began : Detainees include Politicians, Journalists and Activists !", Mikko Denounced. "It could lead to a Further Limitation of Fundamental Freedoms, such as the Right to Free Expression and Demonstration", which "are already Severely Strained, under the Continued *<<State of Emergency>>- "This Military Operation mustNot be carried out at the Expense of the Fundamental Rights of People in Turkey, and of Civilians in Syria", she refused.

 

+++Ankara aims also to Impose a "30 kms - Deep Zone, inside Syria", together with a Proxy 25.000 "pro-Turkish" Armed Groups, who have "Joined the Invasion", several MEPs  denounced.,                                                                                                                                                                         

++++ On the Contrary, "the (mainly Kurdis) YPG" emerged "from the Struggle for Survival, by the Peoples of Northern Syria, Facing Horrendous ISIL Massacres", reminded Kurkcu. "Following the Legendary Defence of the People of Kobani, in 2014, (NDLR : Supported by CoE's Assembly : See ...), it has become a Symbol of Hope, not only for its own People, but for the whole World, in Defence of Human Dignity against ISIL across the Globe". "In 2016, COE's Assembly awarded a Yazidi Woman, Nadia Murad, the "Vaklav Havel" Prize, for the Courage she displayed during Years of Captivity at the Hands of ISIL, as a Sex Slave". While "Thousands of Other Yazidi Women were Rescued from Slavery by the Kurdish Womens' Defence Units - the YPI- between 2014 and 2017, when ISIL was finally Defeated. These Women were role Models for Young women across the Globe. ... They were the Cover Stars of Mainstream Magazines accross the World", he highlighted, Showing relevant Photos. "Now Ankara is Targeting these Women, ... Because they are part of Autonomous Administrations that Rule Themselves, in their Native Tongue, accross Northern Syria. .. What a Crime ! Throughout Human History, for a People to Arise from Nothing, to Represent Hope for Humanity, could be seen as ...Virtuous", he observed.

mep_brandishes_times_frontpage_on_syrian_kurdish_womens_fight_against_isis_islamist_terror_400 

 

+++++ "To this Day, Turkey has Not come under a Single Military Attack ...from the Inhabitants of Afrin", "Nor has the town Ever Hosted a single ISIL Unit", reminded Kurkcu. So that, "Lacking of Any Moral or Military Justification, the Afrin Incursion comes at a Time when Voters' support for Turkey's Ruling Party, Ahead of the 2019 General Election if Plummering. The only Plausible, yet Unacceptable Reason for the Incursion is a possible Leverage for fanning Nationalism in Turkey, and Crushing the Opposition, (by) using the War as Pretext", he accused.


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

=> In Consequence, "We (CoE) Need not only to express our Thoughts, but to Act !", Mikko stressed, on behalf of the Socialist Group. "The Most Important thing is to Protect Civilians, and to Respect International Law". And "we .. Urge ... Turkish MEPs to do their outmost to Seek Peace and Stability, through Diplomatic and Political Channels, at Home and Abroad", she added- "We .. Call on Turkey to Cease its Military Operations and Refrain from further Escalation of Attacks", stressed Marukyan, on behalf of the Liberal Group of MEPs. "USA, France, and Other International Actors have already ... Called for a Halt to Military Actions". The "Liberal" Group of MEPs "Calls on the International Community to Intervene, and Stop the further increase in Violence and Mass Human Rights' Violations in Syria", he concluded. - "The (CoE's) Assembly" should "Call on Turkey to raise the Right to Live in Peace at the Top of the Agenda, and Release all those Detained in Prison for Defending Peace", Kurkcu urged, on behalf of the EuroLeft Group. "Our Most Important Concern is the Safety of Innocent Civilians", and, "in Conclusion, we (COE Assembly) Urge (the PanEuropean Organisation's 47) Member States to identify a Peaceful Solution", stressed Stroe, on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group of MEPs.


>>> - "We should Act Now", urged from the outset, the "First Speaker, Chosen by (PACE's) Bureau", as the Assembly's Presidency underlined, Senator Cox from the Netherlands:  He made "4 Proposals :"


(1)  "First, to Call on the Turkish Authorities to Immediately STOP their Military Intervention in Syria, to Respect the UN Charter, and to Look for Political Ways to Solve Political Problems, including Security needs".


(2) + "Call on CoE's (47) Member States to use their Influence in the UN Security Council, (including those which are Permanent Members of the UN SC), to have asap. a UN SC Resolution demanding the End of Hostilities, and the Immediate WithDrawal of the Turkish Army from Syrian soil".


(3) ++ "Call on the CoE to Use All its Possibilities (the Committee of Ministers, the Assembly, the Secretary General, and the Human Rights Commissioner) to Convince ... Turkey (a Member State) that this Unilateral Military Intervention Violates the UN Charter, and the Values and Principles of our Organisation" (CoE).


(4) +++ "Call on the Turkish Authorities and the Turkish-Kurdish Community, to ReStart the Peace process, that was Jeopardized in 2015, but which is, according to (PACE) Resolution number 1925 of 2013, "the Obvious Way Forward, in Ending Violence, and Creating a Peaceful Environment for the Solution of the Kurdish Question".


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Followed ... no less than Seven (7) mainly Turkish Establishment's, (with 2 Azeri, obviously Traped by Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline...), simple Speakers, (compared with only 4 Europeans : from France, Germany, Ireland and Belgium, all Opposed to the pro-Government Turks), who, inter alia, attempted to Explain everything by "... the Film "Post" or "Pentagon Papers" (sic !), revealed that "Turkish (Military) Forces are also currently in Syria's Idlib province", (i.e. even more at the South of Afrin province, discussed here), Boasted that "Turkey has decided to ... CLEAN the Territory" (sic !), etc.


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

Concluding, CoE Assembly's vice-President, MEP Ana Mendes from Portugal (of the Socialist Group), observed that "the matter May be Referred by the (PACE's) Bureau to a Committee for a Report", (possibly at the Next Bureau's Meeting, on Friday early Morning).


Such an eventual move would, most probably, imply also the existence of a Written Draft Text, (in the form of a Motion for Resolution, signed by several MEPs).

 

(../..)


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Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

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

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
----------------------------------

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    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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