Head of the Estonian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and Vice-President of the PACE Marianne Mikko is on an information gathering mission in Istanbul and Ankara this week as the PACE Monitoring Committee’s rapporteur for the monitoring of Turkey.
“The parliamentarians and journalists whom the government of Turkey considers connected with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or the coup attempt of 2016 are still being arrested and detained in Turkey,” Mikko said. She emphasised that the coup attempt should not be used as a justification for suppressing peaceful opposition and forbidding freedom of speech to journalists and media.
“The purpose of the visit is to gather information and get an overview of what the situation in Turkey is like at the moment in regard to following the principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights,” Mikko said. She added that the rapporteurs would also meet with the victims of the coup attempt and their families.
It is planned to have meetings with the Minister of European Union Affairs of Turkey, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior, and the speaker of the Turkish Parliament. In the Parliament, there will also be meetings with the representatives of the Turkish delegations to the PACE, NATO PA and OSCE PA, of the committees dealing with human rights, equality, relations with the European Union and the special situation of Turkey, and also of the political groups. It is also planned to meet representatives of the judiciary.
Marianne Mikko is on the visit in Turkey from 27 to 30 March. She is accompanied by her co-rapporteur Nigel Evans from the United Kingdom, who is a member of the European Conservatives Group.
In April last year, the PACE decided to open the monitoring procedure on honouring of obligations and commitments in order to strengthen cooperation with the authorities of Turkey. The rapporteurs will prepare a report on the respect for human rights, the freedom of the media and expression, and the principles of the rule of law in Turkey.
For further information please contact: Marianne Mikko, +372 5646 3614
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