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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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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 ?


- "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.


      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.    


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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