Council of Europe to Send Rights Team to Turkey

STRASBOURG (Reuters)–The Council of Europe will send a fact-finding mission to Turkey next week to assess the situation of the Turkish Kurds–the 40-nation human rights organization said in a statement on Friday.

Three months ago the French-based Council infuriated Ankara by approving a report critical of Turkey’s treatment of its Kurdish community.

The Council of Europe’s two-man delegation will arrive in Turkey on Sunday–September 6.

They will hold talks with government officials–including Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

The Turkish foreign ministry said in June that the Council’s report on the Kurds was "full of lies."

The Council observers will then meet government and military authorities in Diyarbakir in the east of Turkey before wrapping up their brief visit in Istanbul on September 9 with a trip to police headquarters.

More than 28,000 people have been killed in 13 years of conflict between Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members–who are fighting for Kurdish self-rule.

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