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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

Parašė ACM
Wednesday, January 24, 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.

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+++++ "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.


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=> 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.


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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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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


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