Kürkçü: Place of parliamentarians is parliament not prison

İzmir MP Ertuğrul Kürkçü gave a brief speech at plenary talks of The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Autumn Session. Kürkçü stated the following:

I on behalf of the UEL will focus on Mr. Bernd Fabritius’s report. I congragulate the rapporteur for his work which highlights a general trend of deterioration in the rule of law among the COE member countries and brings that alarming situation under the attention of the PACE.

As a citizen of Turkey and an opposition deputy in the Turkish parliament I find myself in an awkward position vis-a-vis the major focus of the report: on the one hand the report, far from singling out Turkey as a COE country where the rule of law is under threat, provides abundant evidence that the rule of law is destructed at least in the four other selected countries too. In this respect the report by no means could be stigmatized as Turkofobic and/or Islamofobic and strips the ruling AKP of a major pretext to which they frequently resort in order to refute international criticisms pertaining to the breach of the rule of law in Turkey. Further the report verifies the criticisms we have been domestically raising regarding the collapse of the rule of law in Turkey where 2 percent of the MPs including our co-chairs Mr. Demirtaş, and Ms. Yüksedağ are in prison.

But on the other hand the report provides abundant hint that applying similar ciriteria used by the rapporteur we could also include many other COE member countries in a longer list where rule of law is under threat. Allow me to recall the reports that we dealt with in this ongoing session, that we will handle tomorrow and many others we discussed throughout past years.

Then this very situation itself becomes a source of concern for the peoples who suffer from the breach of the principle of the rule of law and of seperation of powers: Questions are justifiably raised how peoples may count on an international human rights organization whose many member states themselves have become a major source of violation of rights and freedoms.

Nevertheless this apparent contradiction might also generate further strength as long as the PACE members as the representatives of the peoples speak out boldly on every platform at home and overseas in the name of the peoples against the defects of their own states. 

I therefore strongly support the recommendations by the rapporteur directed at the Turkish authorities.

That the state of emergency should be lifted as the coup d’etat as such has failed, the active elements are crushed and tens of thousands of suspects are jailed.

And that the government should stop exploiting the emergency case as a leverage for setting up a lawless dictatorship.

And that the constitutional amendments secured in the fraudulent  referendum of 16 April 2017 should be annulled as these serve the attempt at establishing a dictatorship in the midst of the COE.

And that the judicial system should be liberated from the yoke of the executive which is  unlawfully headed by the president.

And that the 9 HDP deputies and co chairs and 1 CHP deputy should be immediately released and cases against 150 parliamentarians should be suspended. We cannot speak about seperation of powers in a country where MPs spend most of their time before courts under the threat of heavy sentences or in jail. 

Place of parliamentarians is parliament not prison.

12 October 2017