Following their visit to Turkey from 21 to 24 March as co-rapporteurs, PACE monitors John Howell (United Kingdom, EC/DA) and Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC) have welcomed the open and frank dialogue with the Turkish authorities when discussing the Assembly’s latest resolutions, including Resolution 2376 (2021) and Resolution 2347 (2020).
“While sanitary conditions have hampered recent contacts, we value the resumption of face-to-face discussions based on mutual respect and excellent co-operation with the authorities and the Turkish delegation to PACE,” they said.
“Our visit mainly focused on the execution of rulings of the European Court of Human Rights – in this context, we had the opportunity to attend the latest court hearing of Osman Kavala in the Gezi trial in Istanbul – and issues in relation to the rule and law and fair trials. We also looked at the preparation of the next presidential and parliamentary elections, due in 2023, including amendments to the electoral legislation currently being discussed by the Grand National Assembly,” they said.
“In our contacts we stressed that the activities carried out by the PACE Monitoring Committee aim to promote our common values, which allows us to look for legal and political solutions in a spirit of genuine co-operation. We emphasised that Turkey, as one of the first States to join our Organisation, makes a major contribution to the activities of the Council of Europe. In the field of refugees, for example, the country has gathered know-how which is a source of inspiration in today’s Europe,” they said.
“This is, in our view, one of the reasons why Turkey should lead the way in strengthening its institutions, and making the rule of law, democracy and human rights prevail in the country. We will closely follow these developments and continue our discussions in the framework of the Monitoring Committee,” they added.