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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow CoE Deplores Turkish Refusal to Cooperate v. Human Rights Violations ECHR found in Occupied Cyprus

CoE Deplores Turkish Refusal to Cooperate v. Human Rights Violations ECHR found in Occupied Cyprus

Έχει γραφτεί από ACM
Friday, 21 September 2018
 
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*Stuttgart(Germany: on the Road from EU's Salzburg Summit [Austria] back to Strasbourg [France]*)/Angelo Marcopolo/- The PanEuropean, 47 Member States-strong (including Russia, etc), Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law's (CoE) Highest Political body, that of its Committee of Ministers, officially declared Today, that it "Deplores" Turkey's Refusal to "Cooperate" in pending issues of Massive and Continuing Violations of Human Rights of Refugees and/or "Missing" Persons, (for which Ankara has been repeatedly Condemned by ECHR) in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, still controlled by Ankara's Military since the 1974 Bloody Invasion by its Foreign Troops.


+Moreover, it appears Proven, now on 2018, that Turkey hasn't set up Any efficient means at all in order to Prevent "UnLawful Sales or Exploitation" of Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs' usurpated "Homes and Properties" located in the Occupied Territories controlled by Ankara's Army since the 1974 Military Invasion (See infra), that it may, therefore, have been Abusing for 54 Years, and still persist to do so, with the "Complicity" of those who Cover up such Crimes, (See Facts Infra)...


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>>> It's the 1st Time in the soon 70 Years-old History of the CoE, (whose 1949-2019 Anniversary is due to be celebrated Next Year), that a State dares so Bluntly Defy the PanEuropean landmark Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights, which is Widely considered as the Best among all those currently existing in various Continents accross the World, particularly because of a Pioneer Case-Law (thanks also to its key Judgements on Cyprus' Refugees/Displaced persons and "Missing" People) as well as its Legaly-Binding character.


=> Indeed, CoE's Statute clearly makes it an Obligation for all its Member States to abide by the Judgements of the (Pan)European Court of Human Rights.


Turkey is the Only Non-European Member State of the CoE, since an Exceptional Situation, during the "Cold War" and even the Korea War, when Greece had faced a Civil War, and USA's Western Allies had been Anxious to Stop an eventual Extension of the "Socialist" Block (which included then all Northern Neighbours of Greece : Former Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, etc) in South-Eastern Europe until Deep into the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, facing the Middle East and Suez Channel.


In order to do so, CoE even suddenly Abandoned, then, its Initial Plans to adopt a European Flag including not just a Circle of 12 Golden Stars at a Blue Background, but also, at its Center, a Globe with a Christian Cross, (Identical to Famous Coudenhoven-Kallergis' Historic Symbol for "PanEuropa"), and Replaced it with Only that Circle but Empty inside, (See, f.ex. : ..., etc).


However, during the 1960ies, CoE's then Director for Human Rights and Democracy had reportedly Urged to Oust Turkey, as InCompatible with such European Values, when the Elected Turkish Prime Minister Menderes was Brutally Lynched by a Mob and His Government replaced by a Military regime's cronies. But his voice wasn't heard then by the majority of politicians, and, paradoxically, Ankara remained still a Member, (Contrary to what happened, just a few time later, with the Colonels' regime even in a European Country : Greece, which was, notoriously, Obliged to briefly Leave the CoE somewhere during that Exceptional Period of 1996-2004).

 

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+ Nowadays, the Main Problem is even Greater for Turkey, Because CoE's Membership is, in real practice, a sine-qua-non, Necessary Condition for any 3rd Country wishing to become a fully-fledged Candidate for EU Accession, (with all the Financial and Legal various Advantages that such an official Status gives). Indeed, EU's famous "Copenhagen Criteria", are practically the Same with what became CoE's main Focus of Action, (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law, etc). And Turkey's Controversial and UnPopular EU Candidate Status wasn't fully given and didn't lead to the Beginning of Accession Negotiations with the EU, but Only After a (very much Contested) CoE's Report claimed on 2004 that Ankara's Government would have met, then, at least a Minimum Threshhold of those CoE's Standards.  


So that Cyprus' President, Nicos Anastassiades', bilateral Meetings during EU's Heads of State/Government's Summit in Salzburg, (Austria), the 19th and particularly the 20th of September 2018, (i.e. Yesterday, when it had reportedly become Obvious in Strasbourg that Turkey was Obstinated into Refusing to Cooperate at all with the CoE in the Implementation of ECHR's Judgementw which have Condemned Ankara's Government for Massive Violations of Human Rights in the Occupîed Part of Cyprus, (Comp. Supra + Infra), should, logically, have offered a Timely Opportunity to Include, also, Possibly, most or all of that Negative Behavior by Turkey.


Among those Anastasiades' Interlocutors in Salzburg, were apparently Included, f.ex., the New EU's Chairman-in-office, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Council's President, Donald Tusk, and even the current CoE's President-in-office Andreij Plenkovic, Croatia's Prime Minister, as well as the French President Emmanuel Macron, who is due to Chair the CoE on 2019, (etc).      


Meanwhile, in Strasbourg, at CoE's HeadQuarters, during this Autumn 2018's Session of the PanEuropean Organisation's Highest Body, its Committee of Ministers, entitled to Supervise the Execution of ECHR's Judgements by Member States, was Examining the current Situation concerning many Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, (a Total of more than 190.000 People, i.e. about 2O% of the legal Population of the Island), as far as it regards their Rights to Access their Family Homes and/or other Private Properties and Ancestral Land located in  the Territories of Cyprus still under Foreign Military Occupation by Ankara's Troops since the 1974 bloody Turkish Invasion, (that they had been Obliged to Flee), as well as the situation of Prolonged but Fruitless Queries on What really Happened to around 1.950 "Missing" People, and Find and Punish those Responsible for their EnForced Disappearances, according to a well-established ECHR's case-law.


Turkey has just put Nowadays into real practice, for the 1st Time, its earlier Threat, (reportedly made already as early as since July 2017), to Stop Participating in CoE's Committee of Ministers' supervision of the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements by the Condemned States, particularly as far as it concerns the Deadly Turkish Military Invasion and still persisting Occupation of the Northern Territories of Cyprus.


The ECHR has repeatedly Judged, (after also a landmark Public Hearing held in Strasbourg as early as, already since 1994 : See "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReport, Published then, inter alia, also at CNAgency, PIO, etc, followed by various Convergent Decisions of 1996, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, etc), that the Turkish Government, whose Military Troops still Control that Occupied Area of Cyprus, is Responsible for Many Continuing Violations of Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Rights to Access their Family Homes, other Private Properties and Ancestral Land, in addition to those "Missing" Persons' Rights to Life and Liberty, as well as of the Victims' Families' Right to Know what happened to their beloved ones, provoking situations tantamount to Inhuman and Degrading Treatments, etc.


Those ECHR's Judgements on Cyprus' cases are among the First and Most Important in the World, concerning the Protection of the Human Rights of Refugees/Displaced People, as well as of "Missing" Persons, etc., and have been repeatedly Published, Analysed, cited, Quoted and Used all over across the Planet, (including by various UNO's Reports, Official Booklets, etc: F.ex., the Famous "Pinheiro Principles", on Refugees/DPIs' Rights to Return and for Restoration of their goods, etc), as Historic and World-wide Landmark Examples of what must be done in such Tragic Cases in order to Defend an elementary Human Dignity.


>>> So that, by Threatening to seriously Undermine and/or Belittle them, if not Brutaly and Massively Dismiss them, under any Hollow Pretext or even withOut really one, would be no only a Crime committed against the Victims who Suffered from manifold Violations of their basic Human Rights, but also, practically tantamount into Depriving Europe from some among its most Important core Values, and the whole World from a Key Part of its Sources of Hope for Truth and Justice.


F.ex., among various others, It's not for nothing that ECHR's Great Chamber clearly Warned, on 2014, against anyone might, eventually make such Attempts to "Illegaly Sell or Exploit" the Family Homes and/or other Private Properties of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons in the Turkish-Occupied Territories of Cyprus, and/or those who might attempt to Cover up such persistent Wrong-doing, i.e., practically behaving as "Accomplices", (according to ECHR's Judgement's own original  Wording)...


=> Therefore, in the Resolutions adopted Yesterday and published Today by CoE's Highest Body, its Committee of Ministers officially "Called on Turkey to Cooperate" on the collective supervision of ECHR's Judgements' execution, and "Deeply Regretted the Decision of Turkey Not to Participate in the Discussion" held inside the PanEuropean Organization for Human Rights.


+ Moreover, CoE's Highest body, "Also Regretted" that  "the Turkish Authorities" have "Not Replied" yet to a Recent Question, raised by the CoE since "December 2017", "as regards the Issue of Property Rights of Displaced Persons" in Cyprus, and concerning the "Existing" ways "to Address the Issue of possible UNLAWFUL SALE AND EXPLOITATION" of Greek Cypriot Refugees/IDPs Properties located in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus :


- Turkey, in fact, had initially Claimed that such Ways to Address that Problem would already Exist there, But, when CoE asked Ankara "to present ...INFORMATION on their PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION", in order "to ASSESS the EFFECTIVENESS" of such Tools, Suddenly, the Turkish Government, (instead of providing any concrete Statistics, etc, on the Contrary), Started to ...Threaten to Stop Cooperating, (from June 2018), and, finally, Now, it really Stopped !


=> In other words, as the Facts cited by the CoE Reveal, Turkey's Behavior shows that Ankara had done practically NOTHING serious TO AVOID ILLEGAL "SALES" AND "EXPLOITATION" of Greek Cypriot Refuges/IDPs' "HOMES and PROPERTIES" in the Territories of Cyprus still Occupied by the Turkish Army...


Therefore, the Risk of "COMPLICITY in any UnLawful Sale and Exploitation of Greek Cypriot Homes and Property" in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, existed, still Today, for "Any possible Permission, Participation, (or)Acquiescence", by anyone in such acts, as the ECHR had already Warned since 2014...


Cyprus' Government said it was "Gravely Concerned about Turkey’s continued ...Attempts to create an irreversible de facto situation permanently Obstructing the Return of Greek Cypriots to their properties in the Occupied Areas of Cyprus", (i.e. perpetuating the Division of the Island, Contrary to a Peaceful ReUnification via a Solution of Cyprus' Political Issue).


Therefore, it asked CoE to Confirm that the Transfert or Use of Greek Cypriots' Properties, withOut Consent of Lawful Owner, is a Violation of Property Rights, and, therefore, should be Prevented, and Not Promoted.


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+ But it's even on Tragic Cases of "Missing" People in Cyprus, that Turkey now Started to Refuse to "Participate" in CoE's meetings on ECHR Judgements' Implementation, obliging Today the CoE's Ministers to officialy "Deply Regret" that, and to "Call on Turkey to Cooperate with the(ir) Committee", also in the Famous "Varnava and Others" cases.


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(../..)

 

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(*NDLR : A Series of UnPrecedented Blockades in the German Train from Salzburg's EU Summit in Austria back to our Base in Strasbourg, surprizingly Hindered a Timely Return back Home, obliging to Complete our Reporting -which had Started earlier this Week inside the CoE in Strasbourg- Later than initialy expected and by using also various Phone Calls, EMails, etc).

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***

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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
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    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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