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Türkiye: the 2017 change of the political system has seriously weakened the democratic institutions, PACE Monitoring Committee says

Ankara, Turkey

In April 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly decided to place Türkiye under the monitoring procedure. Since then, it has closely followed the developments in the country focusing specifically on the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the judiciary, and challenges to the rule of law, and the preparation of the 2023 parliamentary and presidential elections.

In a mid-term review of the procedure, the Monitoring Committee adopted today a draft resolution, based on the report prepared by the co-rapporteurs John Howell (United Kingdom, EC) and Boriss Cilevičs (Latvia, SOC), which notes that “the change of the political system adopted in 2017 – while being a sovereign right of any member State – has seriously weakened the democratic institutions in Türkiye and made the system of checks and balances dysfunctional and deficient”.

The Committee expressed “the urgent need for reforms to restore the full independence of the judiciary and effective checks and balances”,

The Turkish authorities need, the adopted text states, “to ensure that all conditions will be met to guarantee free and fair elections, including the ability of the opposition to operate, and journalists to work in an independent way”; the Committee also requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft amendments to the Turkish Penal Code regarding the provision on “misleading information”.

The Committee proposes that the Assembly remains at the disposal of the authorities to pursue a constructive dialogue while, in the framework of the monitoring procedure for Türkiye, continues “to follow the developments in the country concerning democracy, rule of law and human rights”.

The report, which contains a dissenting opinion, will be debated during PACE’s Autumn Plenary Session (Strasbourg, 10-14 October 2022).