Turkey has been returned to the monitoring procedure by PACE during the session on 25 April 2017, as the AKP government has taken no positive steps despite the numerous reports and warnings from the CoE and the PACE, and the criticisms from the democratic and social opposition, regarding the decline in democracy, human rights and the rule of law. In this context, PACE will evaluate in 2018, whether the monitoring procedure will continue or not, depending on the progress that Turkey will make on the issues mentioned in the adjudicated report.
This outcome is the AKP government and President Erdogan's loss of legitimacy in international arena resulting from ongoing repressive, discriminatory and denial policies. During PACE discussions on the Turkey report, even AKP's longtime friends avoided defending the lawlessness and violations in Turkey. All the criticisms and warnings in the report should be seen as a proof that the criticisms of the democratic and social opposition in Turkey are accepted internationally as well. Unfortunately, this decision will negatively affect Turkey's relations with the European Union and other European institutions in the upcoming days.
In PACE's decision; the human rights violations resulting from the emergency rule and decree-laws following the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016; purges of scientists, academics and state employees; the arrest of our Co-Chairs, deputies and Co-mayors; bans on media organizations and the state of arrested journalists, and dire human and political rights violations during the April 16 referendum were the main reasons.
Turkey underwent a political audit between 1996-2004, and as a result of the reforms it had undergone in 2004, it was removed from the monitoring procedure and taken into the post-monitoring dialogue procedure. For the first time in the history of the Council of Europe, with the current decision of the PACE, a country has been put to a follow-up procedure from the post-monitoring dialogue procedure. This is a sign of the gravity of violations in Turkey.
During the last two terms, the HDP delegation in the PACE has done its best by bringing up the PACE agenda in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, by sharing its warnings and criticisms with the government and the parliament, and by helping in taking necessary measures. The government pays the price of turning a deaf ear to these warnings.
HDP believes that the government's attempt to move Turkey away from the democratic institutions and grounds of Europe would be the most wrong decision. Such decision will mean that the damage caused by the wrong policies of the government will be paid by the whole society.
AKP government’s part is to leave policies of pressure, war, and fear, and take the quick steps towards the supremacy of human rights, democracy and rule of law, and take Turkey out of the atmosphere of international loneliness it has fallen into. The peoples of Turkey deserve neither this result nor the government policies. The government should abandon the emergency rule policies, urgently revive the peace process and implement democratic reforms in line with the proposals in the protocol.
Hişyar Özsoy (Vice Deputy Chair, Deputy for Bingöl), Filiz Kerestecioğlu (Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair, Deputy for İstanbul) and Ertuğrul Kürkçü (Deputy for Izmir)
25 April 2017