Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe

 

EUDEL Statement on the situation in Turkey

Strasbourg, 28/11/2018 - 17:49, UNIQUE ID: 181128_17
Statements on behalf of the EU

The detention of 13 prominent academics and civil society representatives in Turkey on 16 November 2018 is of concern. Although 12 of the 13 individuals have been released on bail, we remain concerned about the ongoing detention of civil society representative Yiğit Aksakoğlu as well as the prolonged detention of Mr Kavala and many others.

  1. The European Union Delegation to the Council of Europe issues the following statement on the situation in Turkey.
  2. The detention of 13 prominent academics and civil society representatives in Turkey on 16 November 2018 is of concern.  Although 12 of the 13 individuals have been released on bail, we remain concerned about the ongoing detention of civil society representative Yiğit Aksakoğlu as well as the prolonged detention of Mr Kavala and many others. We also take note that the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has decided to submit written observations as a third party in the pending case of Mehmet Osman Kavala v. Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights.
  3. We also share the concerns of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, and of the OSCE's Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, regarding the detentions last week. The authorities need to ensure a very rapid resolution of these cases on the basis of the principle of presumption of innocence and the application of pre-trial detention strictly in line with the European Convention on Human Rights. Repeated detentions of critical voices and the continued widespread pressure on civil society representatives are in violation of Turkey’s commitments to human rights and fundamental freedoms and announced reforms in the field of rule of law and judiciary. 
  4. The EU also notes the judgment by the European Court of European Rights that Selahattin Demirtaş' continued detention is in violation of his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. As expressed during the 22 November EU-Turkey High Level Political Dialogue in Ankara, the EU hopes that Selahattin Demirtaş will be released shortly in line with Turkey's obligations as a member of the Council of Europe, and that similar cases will be dealt with soon.
  5. Turkey has announced that it is preparing an updated action plan for the prevention of violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, in cooperation with the Council of Europe. We welcome this and stress that cooperation with the Council of Europe and its bodies remains essential.
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