PACE urges restoration of democracy in Turkey

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has called on Turkey “to put an end to laws and practices that contravene democratic standards.” In a resolution adopted on April 22, the European parliamentarians reminded Turkey of its obligations arising from the Council of Europe membership.

Duvar English

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on April 22 reiterated its call on the Turkish authorities “to put an end to laws and practices that contravene democratic standards,” the assembly's resolution said.

The resolution was released following an urgent debate on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey.

The European parliamentarians called on Turkey “to revise its legislation and constitutional framework in order to ensure the separation of powers, to restore freedom of speech and media freedom, to restrict the interpretation of its anti-terror legislation, and to implement the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.”

The lawmakers also stated that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention - which aims to combat violence against women and domestic violence - constitutes “a step backwards for the country” and that this decision was taken “without any parliamentary debate and on account of misleading narratives.”

The resolution expressed concerns at attempts at lifting the parliamentary immunity of opposition Turkish lawmakers as well as the move to dissolve the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

The Assembly urged the Turkish government “to put an end to the judicial harassment of parliamentarians and refrain from submitting numerous summaries of proceedings seeking the undue lifting of their immunity which gravely impedes the exercise of their political mandate.”

The resolution also called for the immediate release of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and philanthropist Osman Kavala “in application of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights of 2020 and subsequent decisions of the Committee of Ministers, which is supervising their implementation.”

According to the Assembly, the Turkish authorities should seize the opportunity of implementing the Human Rights Action Plan and revising the legislation on elections and political parties to take “concrete and meaningful steps,” which thus respect the obligations arising from their Council of Europe membership.