Backing to greater powers for Erdogan to deal with the situation, but “justice needs to be done”.
Lozan: Will Turkey honour her signature on the international treaties and agreements? What proof do you have on Gulen? When will we again see complete respect for human rights? What should we do here in the Council of Europe to support Turkey? Will your government allow the immediate publication of the report by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture on the situation in your prisons? How do you view Cyprus reunification? Turkey is also part of the Minsk Group, so what will it be doing about the solution of the Karabakh problem?
Debate on Turkey
”When one of our friends in the Council of Europe has a problem, we must morally stand beside them, but we must also help them,” said Ian Liddell-Grainger (United Kingdom, EC), opening today’s current affairs debate on the situation in Turkey in the light of the attempted coup.
He gave his backing to greater powers for Turkey’s president to deal with the situation, but also pointed out that, in dealing with the situation after the coup, “justice needs to be done”.
Around 55 members of the Assembly put their names down to speak in the debate. A day earlier, the Assembly heard an address from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu. [Video of the debate]
Address by Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey
”The Council of Europe has had a significant role in Turkey’s progress in the past 15 years. We will press ahead with our plans for constitutional and institutional reform and will continue to heed the Council of Europe’s recommendations,” said Mevlüt Çavusoglu, Turkey’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
”Our country has demonstrated its ability to reform itself,” he pointed out, “by introducing numerous mechanisms to protect rights, by making it easier for political parties to expand, by allowing schools to educate people in languages other than Turkish, by stepping up our efforts to combat discrimination, by ratifying the revised Social Charter, by signing up to a whole series of Council of Europe conventions and protocols, enabling us to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.” “By implementing the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly, we have managed to open a number of chapters in the European Union negotiation process,” he added.
He also paid tribute to the victims of the attempted coup d’état which took place on 14 and 15 July and to the Turkish citizens “who took to the streets to stop the attempted coup”. “All the political parties, both ruling and opposition parties, came together and rose up to condemn the attempted coup and to reiterate their belief in democracy,” he said, adding that the state of emergency had been introduced in line with the Constitution to eliminate the threat to the country, its institutions and citizens.
“Since the failed coup, we have further strengthened our ties with the Council of Europe. The threat has not gone away, however. Terrorist movements are seeking to destabilise our democracies and undermine our values. We cannot allow terrorists to take control of our lives.”
Referring to the migrant crisis Mr Çavusoglu pointed out that Turkey had taken in more refugees than any other country, 2.7 million people who fled the hostilities. “We are doing our utmost to meet their needs and provide basic services, including health care and education, but everyone should make an effort and share the burden,” he said.
“By the end of the year, we also hope to reach an agreement on the subject of Cyprus, and a status for the island that is acceptable to everyone. In this context, the Council of Europe must play an ever more important role,” he indicated.
“We must press ahead with our efforts to build peace and stability in Europe,” he emphasised, expressing support for the proposal to hold another Council of Europe summit. “Together we can overcome our common problems, by drawing on our common values, and Turkey will continue to play its part in this context,” concluded Mr Çavusoglu. [Speech_video] – [Verbatim_EN] – [FR]
Written declaration: The developments in Turkey
The developments in Turkey are extremely worrying and call for a coherent response from the Council of Europe. After the attempted military coup d’Etat on the night between 15 and 16 July, President Tayyip Erdoğan has committed himself to a policy which contains several elements with potentially grave consequences for the rights of citizens of Turkey provided for in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The decision by the President of Turkey on 20 July to use his powers and declare a State of Emergency whereby the aforementioned Convention is suspended for three months is a decision pregnant with threats. We view with great concern the arbitrary way in which many categories of officials are suspended in their capacities and we call for actions of the Turkish State guaranteeing legal safety in all cases where such decisions have been made.
Finally, we demand that Turkey, as a member State of the Council of Europe, accepts its responsibilities with regard to the Convention and that the Government and its authorities recognise the implicit right of the Council of Europe to carry out its work in monitoring its members in a free and unhindered manner. [Full Text]
More on Turkey from Strasbourg:
Filed under: A K P, Adalet/Yargı/Hukuk/Justice, Armenian Issue, Avrupa Konseyi, Cumhurbaşkanlığı_President of Republic, Cyprus, Darbe_Girişimi-15072016, Dışişleri Bakanlığı-MFA, Lozan, Suriye/Syria/Syrie, Temel Hak ve Özgürlükler/Fundamental Rights, Terörle Mücadele, Terrorism, Turkey, Turquie, İç ve Dış Siyaset - Political Affairs