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"A dangerous step backwards": Erdogan refuses to democracy and European integration

Why PACE attacks Ankara?

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of which Turkey is important for Ankara held a vote. The majority of PACE members decided to renew the "monitoring procedure" in Turkey. The reason for this was the failure to Ankara's obligations under its membership in the Assembly. According to the decision of Turkey has fallen to a lower level in the PACE since joining the organization in 1949 year.

We are talking about the resumption of monitoring in the political and legal spheres due to the fact that in a country with 2004 years can not operate the democratic institutions that meet European standards. The decision entitled "Functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey" identified "very serious" irregularities in the functioning of democratic institutions in connection with the decision taken after the coup attempt in July 15 2016, the state of emergency.

The decision of the PACE refers to the adoption of "disproportionate" measures by the Turkish government under the pretext of a state of emergency, violation of the Turkish Constitution and international law. As an example, facts of dismissals of tens of thousands of civil servants and arrests of tens of thousands of people on the basis of the Legislative Decree were cited. The decision, which emphasizes the state of freedom of expression and freedom of the media, as well as the independence of the judiciary in Turkey, the arrest of journalists and the persecution of opposition journalists are regarded as "impossible measures in a democratic society."

Moreover, after the lifting of immunity of parliamentarians 154 the functioning of the Turkish Mejlis has been undermined. Therefore, the Democratic Party of Peoples (DPN), many members of which were arrested, could not hold its campaign on the eve of the referendum 16 April, which was seen as a "restriction of democratic debate."

Ankara is required to immediately lift the state of emergency in the country, to stop publication of legislative decrees to stop the mass dismissal, release of detained parliamentarians and journalists whose guilt has not been proven, secure work of the commission to investigate the state of emergency, to ensure a fair trial, as well as to take action in terms of media freedom and freedom of expression. It is noted that in 2018 year will be organized thorough check of these requirements.

As part of the monitoring assessed the extent to which democracy, human rights and the rule of law, European standards. Recall that in 1996, Turkey was included in the set up in the early 1990-ies on the basis of the PACE monitoring process after the requirements with regard to the implementation of reforms, in 2004, she was conditionally withdrawn from the monitoring procedure and included in the "post-monitoring" process.

The output of Turkey from the list of "recurrent democracies" of the Council of Europe has played an important role for the start of negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU. After a restart of Ankara in the monitoring process, Turkey became the first European country derived from the monitoring and re-included in it.
PACE The solution also has the potential to serve as a new subject of discussion within the EU on the level of compliance with the Copenhagen political criteria by Turkey. Brussels intimated its intention to revise its relations with Ankara after the referendum. In particular, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn urged: "It is necessary to reconsider the relationship with Turkey. The current situation is unacceptable. "

Paying attention to the changes in the political system that Turkey will be subjected to after the referendum on the amendment of the Constitution 16 April, Khan said the need to develop a new format for Turkey's cooperation with the EU. Noting the impossibility of continuing the current situation in relations, Khan said: "The current situation can not be continued either for Turkey or for us." According to him, if all the criteria are met by Turkey, Brussels is ready to discuss all options, including to continue negotiations on membership. Khan spoke about the possibility of expanding the Customs Union, including "a new format for cooperation."

Noting that he personally prefers not to close the door to Turkey's membership of the EU, Khan said, the rule of law will continue to play an important role in all spheres of relations with Turkey, including in the part of the EU economy. Meanwhile, the official explains the Council of Europe concerns about the "dangerous step backwards" for democracy, the upcoming constitutional changes in Turkey.

Diplomatic tensions with the Netherlands and Germany, which arose on the eve of the referendum, as well as the statements of Erdogan, President of the return of the death penalty, become causes of tension in relations with the EU.

PACE is one of the most important organizations for both Erdogan and the Turkish government, as they tried to bribe the general secretary and parliamentarians in order to make a decision in their favor. Along with this, they also struggled to appeal to her about taking a decision against the opposition, and especially against the movement "Hizmet". This decision shocked them. The process of accession to the EU, as well as the decision to resume inspections, can shed light on what is happening in Turkey. In addition, a separate warning for Erdogan was the refusal to demand the support of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to recognize the movement "Hizmet" as a terrorist organization. Since international organizations such as the UN, the Islamic Conference, NATO, as well as the EU Report on Turkey-2016 and special services of influential countries stated that the movement "Hizmet" can not be a terrorist organization.

A source: A REGNUM

Author: Arif Asalyoglu

Tags: Turkey, Middle East, PACE, Europe, Policy, Research, rights, democracy, the EU