The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) Monitoring Committee on Friday strongly condemned new crackdowns on political opposition and civil dissent in recent months in Turkey and urged Turkish authorities to “take meaningful steps” to improve standards in the field of democracy, rule of law and human rights.
The committee, which unanimously approved a draft resolution on Turkey, said investigations and prosecutions targeted current and former deputies, members of opposition political parties and lawyers. The committee also underlined the continued pressure exerted on journalists, civil society activists and other groups.
“Unfortunately, the overall situation has not improved since 2019,” the committee concluded. In addition many of the issues cited in 2017, when the assembly reopened the monitoring procedure for Turkey, “remain a matter of concern in 2020,” it said.
The committee detailed a series of steps in the draft resolution it expects Turkish authorities to take in the areas of the functioning of democratic institutions, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
The committee also raised “serious concerns” over Turkey’s external actions, including military operations, and resolved to include the issue in its next reports.
PACE’s Monitoring Committee said it remained “confident of the ability of the Turkish people and authorities to address and redress the deficiencies in the field of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, provided there is a strong and genuine political will to do so.” It also praised Turkey’s “vibrant civil and political society, which is genuinely committed to democracy.”
The report is due to be debated by the assembly’s Standing Committee on Friday, October 23.
The monitoring committee is responsible for verifying the fulfilment of obligations assumed by member states under the terms of the Statute of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights and all other Council of Europe conventions to which they are party.