Turkey has strongly condemned a decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe (PACE) to open monitoring of the country regarding its political activities, after PACE ended this monitoring 13 years ago.
In press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, it said the decision by PACE, is unjust and politically-motivated. PACE is the parliamentary arm of the Council of Europe, a 47-nation international organisation dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The parliamentarians who make up PACE meet four times a year to discuss topical issues and ask European governments to take initiatives and report back.
Below is the full statement:
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on 25th April 2017, at its Spring Part Session, decided to re-open monitoring procedure in respect of Turkey who has been under post-monitoring dialogue since 2004. We strongly condemn this unjust decision of PACE taken with political motives in contravention of the established procedures.
Our country is countering simultaneously the most brutal terrorist organizations such as PKK, FETO and DEASH. While adhering to our international commitments, we take necessary and proportionate measures against the dangers targeting our constitutional order and the survival of our nation. This constitutes the most fundamental obligation and legitimate right of a state.
It should be recalled that Turkey contributes to the security and stability of the whole of Europe and its close vicinity while hosting more than 3.2 million refugees and countering treacherous terrorist organizations. Having disregarded Turkey’s contributions to European security and stability, this decision by the PACE Parliamentarians in fact, shows an imprudent mind-set lacking strategic vision and ignoring the common and democratic values on which Europe is founded.
Deciding to re-open the monitoring procedure on Turkey, a staunch defender of contemporary European ideals and values and a founding member of the Council of Europe, under the guidance of malicious circles at the PACE is a disgrace to this organ, which claims to be the cradle of democracy.
Turkey is standing along with the most vulnerable and fighting almost alone against xenophobia and Islamophobia spreading with violence in today’s Europe. This is one of the motivations fuelling the anti-Turkey sentiments by these ill-intentioned circles.
The influence of these ill-intentioned circles was also witnessed when certain PACE members who came to observe the referendum were selected among sympathizers of a terrorist organization. The decision to re-open the monitoring procedure is yet another plot of these malicious groups.
Under the influence of the populist tendencies that fuel Islamophobia and xenophobia, this marginalizing and alienating decision taken against Turkey by a group of Europeans acting with narrow and shallow domestic political motivations is in fact a political operation. This decision shall serve the terrorist organizations, in particular FETO, which constitute a danger not solely against our country but also against the entire European system and values.
Turkey urges the Parliamentarians who voted for this decision at PACE, firstly to act in common sense, and then to take joint actions by adopting a principled stance in order to struggle against the common scourge of the threat of terrorism all around the world; to fight sincerely against rising xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia and to follow a responsible and human rights-oriented approach in refugee and migration management.
The decision on monitoring also overlooks the constructive and frank dialogue and cooperation maintained by Turkey with the Council of Europe uninterruptedly in the aftermath of the terrorist coup attempt.
Such a decision leaves no choice to Turkey but to reconsider its relations with PACE.
Despite such an unjust, politically motivated and biased decision by PACE, Turkey will continue its resolve to further enhance the rights and freedoms of its citizens without compromising on democratic standards, human rights and its commitment to international obligations in this field.