Σάββατο, 11 Μαρτίου 2017

The Council of Europe “downgrades” Turkey’s democratic status

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on Wednesday for Turkey to come under formal scrutiny. The last time this happened was during the 1980 coup d’état.  formal scrutiny places Turkey on par with Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Armenia.
Formal scrutiny places Turkey on par with Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Armenia. The Monitoring Committee of (PACE) called for the monitoring procedure to be re-opened in order to ensure that all forces in the country respect fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and democracy.

Purges, media prosecution, HDP
In the report adopted by the committee, Marianne Mikko (Estonia, SOC) and Ingebjørg Godskesen (Norway, EC) point out that the government has adopted “disproportionate” and unconstitutional measures that go against international law to purges the public administration from 150,000 civil servants in the army, the judiciary, and education. The report states 25% of judges and prosecutors, 10% of the police force, 30% of the diplomatic corps and 5,000 academics have been dismissed.
The committee also notes the prosecution of journalists and media and the lifting of the immunity of 154 MPs since May 2016, making particular reference to the pro-Kurdish HDP.

Constitutional reforms, State of Emergency
As regards to the 18 Constitutional Amendments sponsored by the Turkish government, the Committee warns that the envisaged system undermines constitutional checks and balances, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary.
The committee also called for the lifting of the state of emergency as soon as possible.
Turkey’s referendum will take place on April 16, 2017.
On Friday, March 10, the Venice Commission is expected to adopt an opinion on the constitutional amendments put to a referendum, together with an opinion on the measures provided for in the recent emergency decree-laws in Turkey with respect to freedom of the media.

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