Global

Ankara Condemns Democracy Monitoring As Disgrace

Ankara Condemns Democracy Monitoring As Disgrace

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has chose to reopen a political monitoring process against Turkey following the April 16 referendum on constitutional reform.

The report called on Ankara to lift its state of emergency and release the many politicians and journalists arrested in the wake of the failed coup in July 2016 under its anti-terrorism laws.

The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, part of Europe's top human rights body, voted today 113 to 45 (with 12 abstentions) to resume formal monitoring of Turkey's rights record.

During its Spring Part Session on April 25, PACE chose to re-open the monitoring procedure in respect to Turkey, which has been under post-monitoring dialogue since 2004. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also mentioned on several occasions that Turkey might hold a referendum to decide whether it even wants to join the European Union any longer. The decision was condemned by Ankara.

Ankara reacted angrily to the downgrade, blaming "political motives" for the vote which it said left "no choice to Turkey but to reconsider its relations with PACE".

The Assembly's move comes at a critical time for human rights in Turkey and on the heels of constitutional changes approved in the April 16 referendum that will increase the powers of the presidency, limit the independence of the judiciary and the role of the parliament in Turkey, and undermine checks-and-balances.

On the weekend, Erdogan's chief aide Yigit Bulut penned a vitriolic editorial against the European Union in a newspaper, accusing harshly the bloc of islamophobia. The EU is done, and we are setting out for a new journey.

"We consider this decision as the result of a campaign against Turkey. Turkey will decide, which steps it will take after that", Yildirim said.

"Investors are watching how the relationship between Europe and Turkey will continue in the post-referendum period", Firat Topal, a director of emerging markets sales & sales trading at Vienna-based Raiffeisen Centrobank AG, said by email.

MPs in the assembly concluded the contest took place on an "uneven playing field", endorsing the verdict of observers from the Organisation for Co-operation and Security in Europe, who said the referendum had fallen short of democratic standards.

"Unfortunately this could well lead to a suspension of EU-Turkey accession negotiations, which would also be a first in EU's history", added Sinan Ulgen.


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