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Home arrow newsitems arrow Turkish lobby attempts to Drop CoE Draft asking for full Monitoring (with EU effects) ?

Turkish lobby attempts to Drop CoE Draft asking for full Monitoring (with EU effects) ?

Written by ACM
Friday, 21 April 2017
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- While things advance "Normaly" for CoE Assembly's experienced, but also diplomatic, Director General, Wojcieck Sawicki, as he ensured  in reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, during the regular Press Briefiing of Strasbourg's Journalists for European News, (See Infra), nevertheless, a series of various converging Factual indications clearly suggest, with High Probability, that a lot of Turkish Lobby's attempts are to be expected, Next Week in Strasbourg, seeking to Drop an Official CoE's Call to ReEstablish a Full Monitoring of Ankara, as it is foreseen in a Draft Resolution due to be Debated and Voted by the PanEuropean Organisation's MEPs' Plenary on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, on a Report examining "the Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Turkey", by Norwegian Conservative MEP Ingebjord Godskesen and Estonian Socialist MEP Marianne Mikko.


Apparently, the main reason for which Ankara is upset, is that a Return to Full CoE's Monitoring on Human Rights Violations and serious Problems related to Democracy and Rule of Law, would practicaly mean tha Turkey's recent Situation clearly does Not Meet EU's "Copenhagen Criteria", which are Necessary for any eventual Candidate wishing to seek a place in EU's Enlargement process. I.e, something which would make the Lucrative Annual EU Funding (in full Grants and various Loans) earmarked for Turkey, (which currently Costs several Billions € per Year) to become Unjustified, since the Lackl of one among its Key Condutions would become obvious.


In a probable Attempt to Divert the Attention of MEPs, the Turkish Delegation prefered to Ask for a Different Debate, about ..."Islamophobia" in Europen once again.


Moreover, the Debate on CoE's and OSCE's Damning Criticism of the controversial Conditions in which was Voted recently the Referendum for a Constitutional Reform considerably augmenting the Legal Powers of President Erdogan, but seriously curtailing those of the Parliament and of Judges, was Postponed for a Month, until a Final Version will be presented at the Standing Committee of CoE's Assembly in Prague, later-on.


The Fact that, despite some possible Oral References by some isolated MEPs, CoE Assembly's Plenary Session, Next Week in Strasbourg, will Not have Any Opportunity to hold a Full Debate and a Vote on that "Hot" Matter, while, apparently, some may Expect for a more Lenient, Final Version of thart Report, Later-on, (as certain Statements from Diplomatic sources abroad, Evoking possible Changes on that Initial Text, clearly seem to indicate), raises, however, obvious Question Marks.


According to Other Sources, as far as it concerns the Main PACE Report (Comp. Supra), Turkey might push, f.ex., for Amendments Droping the Return Back to Full Monitoring, and pointing, instead, vaguely, at some Reforms that Ankara should make in the foreseeable Future, as it has also been done, already, several Times in the Past, in an Anodynous and largely Inefficient way, since it's deprived of concrete consequences which could have convinced the Turkish Government to move.


Any relevant Draft Amendments, on this and/or other Issues of Mrs Godskesen and Mikko Report (Comp. Supra), are expected to be Tabled until Monday Afternoon, 4 p.m., Local Time, in Strasbourg, Mr. Sawicki anounced.


That Turkey Debate, (parallel to another one, due to be held, a Few Days Later, in EU Parliament's "Mini" Session in Brussels, on Wednesday Afternoon, with possiblme Votes on Thursday Morning), is the Main Highlight of CoE Assembly's Plenary Session for the Spring of 2017, Next Week in Srrasbourg, where also the Heads of State from Greece and Spain, President Pavlopoulos and the Spanish King, respectively, are expected to make an Address to the PanEuropean Organisation's MEPs on Wednesday and Thursday.


Significantly, even these 2 European Countries had, notoriously, Faced various Problems about Democracy in the Past, (f.ex. during the 1967-1974 "Colonels" regime in Athens, and the earlier Franco regime in Madrid), resulting in a "Special" Treatment by EU and CoE then, Before they Succeded, Later-on, to Overcome that situation, Establish clearly Democratic Institutions with an acceptable Legal mechanism for Human Rights respect, Concluding, Finaly, to a Normal Status in their relations with both European and Paneuropeaan Organisations until Today.


But such a Greek and Spanish roadmap towards European Integration, passed through Real and Serious pro-Democratic and pro-Human Rights Changes, that the nowadays Turkish regime might, eventualy, not be yet Ready to realy make.


Already, Back on January, a similar CoE's Draft Resolution was finaly Postponed, and Not even Debated by CoE Assembly's Plenary Session for Winter 2017, despite a crystal-clear Vote for such a Debate by a strong Absolute Majority of MEPs, only because of one (1) décisive Contrary Vote inside PACE's "Bureau" (whose Meetings are Traditionaly held behind Closed Doors), by a Controversial then Chairman of a Committee, (very much Criticized afterwards for having taken an Individual initiative Contrary to the Collective Will of his own Committee !), which had Changed the Procedure, from an Absolute Majority into a Special, Enhanced, 2/3 Majority, that wasn't attaigned.


Unveverified yet Rumours about possible "Corruption" of 1 or 2 Individuals also Circulated in PACE's corridors, included in a much Wider Move which finaly convinced CoE's Assembly to Decide a larger Investigation, also  on various other such issues, as a matter of general Principle.


But CoE Assembly's President, experienced ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Pedro Agramunt, from Spain, speaking also to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "Eurofora", had, then, Promissed that this Debate on the notorious Problems that faces Democracy in Turkey, particularly on 2015-2017, would, finaly, be realy held on April 2017, i.e. Next Week.


So that, now, it Remains to be seen what will be its Main Results, (Comp. Supra).

 

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(../..)

 

 

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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).


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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

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- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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