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Kox: 'increased surveillance of Turkey is a wise decision'

25 April 2017

Kox: 'increased surveillance of Turkey is a wise decision'

The Council of Europe is to step up surveillance of Turkey in order to keep better track of how human rights are being restricted or removed and of where President Erdogan’s decisions  and those of his government are in conflict with the country’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) or fail to respect the norms of a democratic and constitutional state. A resolution to begin this official monitoring procedure was carried by a large majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The Council of Europe is  Europe’s biggest treaty-based organisation with forty-seven member states, amongst which is Turkey.  

SP Senator Tiny Kox, who chairs the United European Left group in PACE, says that the group “worked very hard to garner this majority. Attempts from the Christian Democrat and Conservative groups to put the monitoring procedure on the back burner fortunately failed. Filiz Kerestecioglu , from the left-Kurdish HDP, which is a member of our political group, gave an impressive speech, in which he stressed that enhanced surveillance would be principally in the interests of the people of Turkey, who are seeing their  fundamental rights attacked.  The resolution, now adopted as official policy, calls on the Turkish authorities to lift the state of emergency as soon as possible and restore the rule of law under the constitution.

The debate took place amongst intense from, amongst others, the Turkish media. President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu tried to the last minute to prevent the debate and put pressure on Members, delegations and political groups. The Turkish government reacted angrily to the imposition of heightened surveillance and has called the move “a political decision that is dishonest and wrong.” 

For Kox, however, “the fact that the authorities in Turkey are now crying blue murder just proves how important our decision is.

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