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Home arrow newsitems arrow Refugee Family's Young Girl speaks out on Turkish Attacks v. Cyprus in CoE Local Democracy Debate

Refugee Family's Young Girl speaks out on Turkish Attacks v. Cyprus in CoE Local Democracy Debate

Written by ACM
Thursday, 20 October 2016

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- A fragile Young Girl of a Refugee Family from the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, illegaly held by Ankara's Military since the 1974 Invasion until now (despite numerous UN SC Resolutions against it), in an Exceptional move, Dared Speak out and give a crystal-clear Reply to 3 or 4 Turkish Politicians' provocative Attacks against Cyprus, (the incoming CoE's New President in office, for the period of November 2016 - May 2017), during a Debate of PanEuropean COE's Local/Regional Democracy watchdog (CLRAE), by a Coincidence held in Strasbourg shortly before Exceptionaly Important Top Level Talks for the Solution of Cyprus' overall Political Issue are due to Start at nearby Switzerland, around the Beginning of November 2016.

Several Turkey's mainland Cities/Regions' representatives and a Turkish Cypriot from the Territories of Cyprus still Occupied by Ankara's Army, marking an Abrupt Change from a usualy Consensual Compromise allowing Local/Regional Democracy Debates inside the PanEuropean Congress of Local/Regional Authorities from 47 Countries, including Cyprus, suddenly Attacked mainly the Traditional Official Position taken by CLRAE's co-Rapporteurs, Bernd Voehringer from Germany (of the Governing ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party) and Randi Mondorf from Denmark (a Liberal), at their New Report about "Local Democracy" in the Island, Claiming that they shouldn't have Spoken about any kind of Foreign Military Occupation of Cyprus' Territories by Ankara's Invasion Army, and that they would have been Obliged, on the contrarty, to speak about some so-called "Turkish Cypriot Municipalities" at the Occupied Territories held by Anlkara's Military, (most if not all of which are notoriously, illegaly managing usurpated Family Homes, Private Properties and Ancestral Land of about 200.000 Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced Persons, obliged to Flee Turkey's Military Invasion and still Hindered to Return, not even to manage their Belongings in the Occupied Area.

Until then, the only, astonishingly Calm (to the pont that some would say  : "Lukewarm") reaction was that which had been made by the Head of Cypus' Delegation, Stavros Yerolatsites, focused mainly into a Mild Protest for such Attempts to Exploit CLRAE's Debates on Local Democracy in order to Launch purely Political Claims on Hot Issues currently discussed at a Top Political Level under the auspices of UNO's Secretary General, instead of simply Discussing some Real Local DeCentralisation Practical Matters which affect People's Everyday Lives, such as, f.ex., the Insufficiency of Independent Funding for Municipalities, still obliged to expect almost all their Ressources from the Central State, etc., as CoE's Report and MEPs' Debates were Criticizing Today, asking for a Reform : I.e. a Topical Issue also in several other European Countries, which would be also particularly Useful even to Turkish Cypriots themselves when a Solution of the Cyprus' issue would succeed to ReUnify the Island, as he had topicaly pointed out.

So that, in Front of Persisting provocative Turkish Political Claims, the First "Hot" and Crystal-clear Reply Unexpectedly came from one of CLRAE's "Young Delegates", (exceptionaly gathered this week in Strasbourg mainly for Young People's Projects on Local/Regional Democracy),  Miss Margarita Christodoulides, (as she told later "Eurofora" that her Name was), whose Family are Greek Cypriot Refugees obliged to Flee from Occupied Kyrenia City since the 1974 Turkey's Military Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Coasts of Cyprus, and still Hindered to Return to their Family Home, Private Properties and Ancextral Land even on 2016, despite a lot of ECHR Judgements clearly Condemning Turkey for "Continuing" Mass Violations of Refugees' Human Rights, from 1996 up to 2014 and well beyond, that Ankara's Government still persists to Not Implement, and even Refuses to pay at least the Financial "Just Satisfaction" ordered by ECHR, obliging CoE's Highest Political body, its Committee of Ministers, to issue a Long Series of Calls and Stern Warnings to Ankara, (the Latest dating just from Last Month : September 2016, See : ....).

The Greek Cypriot Refugee Family's fragile Young Girl courageously Reminded mainly the Fact that Many Refugees/Displaced persons from the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, (who represent approximatively some 20% of the Total Population of that Strategicaly located EU and CoE Member Country), have been practicaly Obliged to set up their own Municipal Councils, in order to Deal with all matters Concerning their Family Homes, Private Properties and Ancestral Land, Protection from Looting and/or Destruction, Cultural Heritage, Reconstruction, etc., even at the various Other Places where they had been obliged to Stay and Live, after Fleeing fhe Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation, Waiting for an outcome that would hopefuly allow them to Get Back Home.

Speaking only towards the End of CLRAE's Discussion, the Head of Greece's Delegation, Michalis Angelopoulos, Mayor of Samos' Island, (who has just Succeeded to be Elected among the First vice-Presidents of CLRAE's Chamber for Local Authorities : Cities and Municipalities, and is also a Vice-Presisdent of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Groum, headed by Experienced, twice CLRAE President, Dr. Herwig Van Staa from Austria's Tyrol Region), soberly Added the Fact that, throughout all Europe and even Worldwide, Nobody has ever Recognized at all any illegal structure set up by the Ankara-supported illegitimate Regime at the Occupied Territories of Cyprus still held by the Turkish Invasion and Occupation Army, (where UNO's Highest body, its Security Council, has clearly Asked to Not Recognize, Neither support or abet in any way, a Break-away Separatist illegal entity, as a matter of Principle.

Something that was, Later-on, more or less, also corroborated by CRLAE's Rapporteur himself (Comp. Supra), who appeared to Criticize particularly those Turkish attempts to Exploit for Political Claims a Tribune that the CoE had decided in the Past, back on 2005, to exceptionaly give to some Turkish Cypriots from the Occupied Territories of Cyprus controlled by Turkey's Military, just an Opportunity to hold a Dialogue with their Greek Cypriot compatriots, in order to Contribute to a Beter Climate for the ReUnification of the Country in Future.

NEW CLRAE's PRESIDENT's position of principle :

+ Meanwhile, the New CLRAE President, Mrs Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom from Austria, replying to a Similar Question during her Bress Briefing with Strasbourg Journalists, including "Eurofora", (Comp. GMT's Replies to "Eurofora" Questions on Other Issues, immediately related to CLRAE's Specific competences, at : ....), Criticized as a matter of General Principle, any attempts to Politicize CLRAE Debates with ¨Provocative and inappropriate/unrelated claims :

- "This is Not a Place for (merely) Political Disputes", "Neither a Fighting place", particularly when such a controversial move "goes Beyond our (CLRAE's) Framework" of competences, she stressed, even if "it's not easy, because sometimes issues seem partly connected" in certain rare cases.

++ But, as far as CLRAE's main Competence on "Local (and/or Regional) Democracy is concerned, a subsequent Debate, later-on this Afternoon, was going to clearly remind the stern Fact that, particularly nowadays, Local Democracy is seriously Undermined in Turkey, which obviously isn't credible at all in its attempts to abuse, for selfish and controversial interests, of a Principle that it blatantly Violates itself, (See, f.ex. : ....).



Cyprus' Refugees are among the Rare, perhaps the Only in the World, who almost All Wanted always to Return Back to their original Family Homes and Ancestral Land, in Decent conditions, at a moment when, on the Contrary, Many Other various Asylum Seekers (particularly inside that Unprecedented Massive influx of various irregular Migrants pushed and selected by Turkish Smugglers into Europe through Neibouring Greece) would reportedly be quite reluctant until now. 

Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the World-Famous predecessor, at the Head of nearby Geneva-Headquarted UNHCR, of New UNO's Secretary General-elected (for the incoming period of 2017-2023) Antonio Guterres, (a former Prime Minister of Portugal, who will succeed to current UN SG Ban Ki Moon : Comp.  Guterrez Statements to "Eurofora"s Co-Founder, at 2 occcasions as UNHCR Chief in the Past, partly Published then also at "TCyprusWeekly", etc+, as well as from Ban Ki Moon, Koffi Annan and Boutros-Ghali, at : ... + .. = ..., etc), another Portuguese Language/Culture Senior Officer for the International Community, from Brazil, who subsequently served also as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in general, and was reportedly expected to be even another Candidate for the Top Job of UNO's SG in the Past, had notoriously worked during most of his Life into striving (and often succeeding) to Help willing Refugees Return Back Home Free, even After Hard Conflicts, throughout almost All Continents of the World, (including cases from Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, etc), and was Tragicaly Murdered, Together with other UNO's Officers and Local Staff, at a Bomb Terrorist Attack in Bagdad (Iraq) back on 2003, by a Coincidence, just after News about an Attempt to Bring Back some 40.000 Kurdish Refugees at Northern Iraq, previously Pushed Out by Oppressive Measures of a Former Iraqi regime.

Curiously, Nobody has yet been Found and Punished for that strange Deadly Terrorist Bomb Attack, which had been obviously Targetted.

+ Meanwhile, by another Coincidence (possibly unrelated), an Artist Exhibition picturing also Vieira de Mello, inaugurated at the CoE Last Week in Strasbourg by the Incoming EU Presidency of Malta for the period of Jan.-June 2017, was ...brutaly Vandalized (f.ex. by Cutting and Destroying an adjacent Picture, etc), reportedly by someone acting under the cover of the Delegation accompagnying Turkish Foreign Minister Mesut Cavusoglu during his recent Visit here : Comp., f.ex., inter alia, also : ...+...).


Such an Unprecedented, Violent Attack and Unilateral Censorship against an Official Art Exhibition of a Key EU Member State inside the CoE, the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, (notoriously including Freedom of Expression as a Basis, in real Practice, also for all Other Human Rights and Democratic Liberties according to ECHR's well-established case law), was Stronly Denounced, earlier, inside CoE Parliamentary Assembly's Highest Political body, its "Bureau", last Friday Morning in Strasbourg, inter alia also by the SpokesWoman of the Biggest Group of MEPs, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Mrs Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter from Switzerland :



- Blasting "an Unacceptable, Brutal Attack on an Art Exhibition" at the CoE, PACE biggest Group's Spokeswoman reportedly asked from those responsible for the culprits to, at least, "Apologise Officialy", and PACE's President, Spanish MEP Pedro Agramunt, reportedly Replied that a Letter had been already send, in this regard, with a reaction being "forthcoming". That Incident was also Remarked and Commented, later-on that Day, by several Other PACE's MEPs, including the Experienced, former President of PACE's "Monitoring" Committee, mainstream MEP from Austria, Stefan Schennach, (Socialist), who Explained to "Eurofora" what had really happened.



However, "Eurofora" observed, later-on, that, even more than a full Week after that Unprecedented Material and Symbolic, Violent Aggression inside the CoE, (even at a Central Spot normaly followed 7/7 and 24/24 by Video-Cameras, etc), nevertheless, keeps Still Going on, with the Vandalized ArtWork remaining Empty, with a blatant White Square Destroyed by the Agressor, (See relevant Photo), still Today...



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


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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :


     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   


This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       


It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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