Council of Europe against closing down of Democratic Society Party in Turkey

6 October 2008

Council of Europe against closing down of Democratic Society Party in Turkey

While recalling that the independence of the judiciary is fundamental, and that no influence should be exerted on the Constitutional Court of Turkey, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has expressed his concern about the judicial proceedings that could lead to the closing down of the Democratic Society Party in Turkey. The Democratic Society Party demands full respect of the human rights of the Kurdish citizens of Turkey.

Tiny KoxSpanish PSOE (social democrat) senator Luis Maria de Puig, President of the Assembly, issued his statement at the request of the five leaders of political groups of the Assembly. SP Senator Tiny Kox, chair of the Unified European Left Group in the Assembly, hopes that the signal of the Council of Europe will be effective: “Last summer we warned with success that we would not accept the closing down of the ruling AK Party in Turkey. We now show we will also not accept the closing down of the oppositional Democratic Society Party, which with twenty-one MPs is now Turkey’s fourth largest party.”

In his statement PACE President De Puig said: “The dissolution of political parties should be regarded as an exceptional measure, to be applied only in cases where the party concerned uses violence or threatens civil peace and the democratic, constitutional order of the country. As our Assembly has repeatedly recalled, respect for the principle of proportionality is of special importance with regard to the dissolution of political parties in view of their essential role in ensuring pluralism and the proper functioning of a democracy. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly stated that the dissolution of a political party, accompanied by a temporary ban prohibiting its leaders from exercising political responsibilities, is the most drastic measure; a measure of such severity should be applied only in the most serious cases.’

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