Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Council of Europe Assembly Wants to Monitor Turkey Again

Council of Europe Assembly Wants to Monitor Turkey Again

BASEL, Switzerland - Legislators representing Europe's top human rights body on Tuesday voted in favor of re-opening monitoring procedures in Turkey in a move that reflects its strong concern over the functioning of democratic institutions in the country.
The decision in the Strasbourg-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was approved on a vote of 113-45 after a nearly three-hour debate.
The assembly's monitoring committee raised concerns over constitutional amendments that were approved this month in a national referendum amid a state of emergency.
Turkey rapporteur Marianne Mikko said Tuesday the amendments, which significantly expand the powers of the presidency, "do not comply with our fundamental and common understanding of democracy. "
She stressed that the monitoring process is not "punishment" but a bid to strengthen dialogue with Turkey.
The committee was critical of the atmosphere ahead of the referendum and of emergency decrees after the failed coup attempt in July 2016.
It pointed to the detention of parliamentarians and journalists and the sweeping dismissals of civil servants allegedly linked to the coup.
Mikko also expressed disappointment that Turkish authorities were considering the re-introduction of the death penalty. (AP)