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Situation in Turkey

Resolution 803 (1983)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 29 and 30 September 1983 (15th and 16th Sittings) (see Doc. 5117, report of the Political Affairs Committee). Text adopted by the Assembly on 30 September 1983 (16th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Recalling its earlier positions on the situation in Turkey, expressed inter alia in its Resolution 794 (1983), and the urgent appeals it has made to the Turkish Government ;
2. Noting that there has been no reaction to these appeals, in particular :
2.1 that so far the new Constitution has not been fully democratically applied ;
2.2 that the laws adopted under the Constitution were not the subject of free discussion ;
2.3 that the National Security Council has made use of the prerogatives conferred on it by the new laws to prevent the free formation of political parties ;
2.4 that martial law has not been lifted and the derogations from the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights remain in force ;
3. Reiterating its concern in regard to the human rights situation in Turkey, above all given the large number of those imprisoned for ideological reasons and the many allegations made about prison conditions ;
4. Endorsing the humanitarian appeal addressed by its President on 5 August 1983 to the Turkish Head of State to ease the lot of all prisoners of conscience and to save the life of prisoners on hunger strike in various Turkish prisons ;
5. Expressing its surprise and regret at the silence of the Turkish authorities in the face of this appeal ;
6. Alarmed at the situation in the universities where recent purges run counter to freedom of education and conscience ;
7. Convinced that freedom of the press is an essential element of any democratic system and that the repressive measures adopted by the authorities towards certain organs of the press constitute a serious obstacle to the process of a return to democracy, especially in a pre-electoral period ;
8. Emphasising once again the importance that it attaches to the rapid completion of procedures before the European Commission of Human Rights ;
9. Recalling that, under Article 3 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, "the High Contracting Parties"- which include Turkey- "undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature", and that, on the basis of the above considerations, there are serious doubts about Turkey's observance of this undertaking ;
10. Reserving the right to decide on the appropriateness of sending a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers aimed at setting in motion the procedure provided for by Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, when it can obtain the written opinion of three independent experts in constitutional law on the compatibility of the new Turkish laws with the Council of Europe's Statute and the European Convention on Human Rights ;
11. Convinced of the fact that the Turkish people's political maturity gives it a right to demand the establishment of a genuine parliamentary democracy and thus to return to its proper place in the Assembly,
12. Declares that, under present conditions and on the basis of information now available, the parliament which will be elected in Turkey on 6 November will not be able to be considered as representing the Turkish people in a democratic manner, and could not therefore validly constitute a delegation to participate in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe ;
13. Instructs its Political Affairs and Legal Affairs Committees to follow the development of the situation in Turkey very closely and to report to it in January 1984.