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Turkish Officials Condemned PACE Decision for Being “Politically Motivated”

Ebru Aksay

The recent Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decision to put the country on its watch list, saying its crackdown on opponents compromised human rights and the rule of law further frayed the Turkey-EU relations.

For more about the PACE, and the decision read: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has voted to reinstate monitoring procedures of Turkey in a vote in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

Ties between the EU and Turkey had already been strained over the crackdown following the July 15th coup attempt. The tension increased further during the weeks leading to the April 16 referendum that handed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vastly expanded powers. Erdogan accused European countries of taking sides before the vote during the rallies, likening some of them to ‘fascist dictators’ after they blocked campaigning among Turkish expatriates.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Deputy Secretary General and Spokesman İbrahim Kalın said that the PACE’s political monitoring decision was a political operation of the enemies of Turkey. He tweeted: ‘We condemn this intentional decision which is not based in reality and is irrelevant.’

Prime Minister Yıldırım condemned the decision vehemently and said that PACE’s decision was both unfair and exceeded its authority. Mr. Yıldırım answering questions an awards ceremony said, “As Turkey, we regard this decision as purely a political decision, and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s vote doesn’t reflect the realities of Turkey.’

During his speech, Mr. Yıldırım said, “Behind this decision that there are parliamentarians of the countries that are trying to remove certain separatist terror groups from the ‘list of officially recognized terrorist groups.’ The opposition also joined them, our HDP deputies did, we are not surprised.’

Yesterday the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had decided to put Turkey back into the monitoring process. At a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the proposal for taking Turkey back to the process was accepted with 113 to 45 and marked the first time Turkey will be monitored since 2004. The members of the audit committee said that the PACE decision on going back to the review process wasn’t aimed for punishment but for solidarity.

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