Council of Europe Ends Monitoring of Turkey

STRASBOURG (ARMENPRESS)–The Parliamentary Assembly decided on June 22 to end the monitoring of Turkey–declaring that the country had "achieved more reform in a little over two years than in the previous decade," and had clearly demonstrated its commitment and ability to fulfill its statutory obligations as a member state of the Council of Europe.

However–the Assembly resolved to continue "post-monitoring dialogue" with the authorities on a twelve-point list of outstanding issues. In a resolution adopted by 141 votes to 8–the parliamentarians welcomed the adoption of important changes to the Constitution in October 2001 and May 2004–as well as abolition of the death penalty–"zero tolerance" towards torture and impunity–the lifting of many restrictions on freedom of expression–association and religion–the abolition of the state security courts–and the granting of certain cultural rights to Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin.

Presenting the report–co-rapporteur Mady Delvaux-Stehres said–"This decision is a mark of our trust in the Turkish authorities that they will continue to make progress. It is also a mark of trust in Turkey itself."

In a separate vote–the Assembly also welcomed the "significant progress" made by Turkey in implementing decisions of the European Court of Human Rights–including payment in the Loizidou case–but cautioned that some of the cases outstanding were still not settled or only partly so. In its resolution–the Assembly urged Turkey to take eight further steps to help prevent fresh violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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