Press release

24 February 2024

CPT’s Visit to Turkey
A delegation of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of
Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment carried out an
ad hoc visit to Turkey from 13 to 22 February 2024.

A special focus was put on the situation of the prisoners held in İmralı High-
Security Prison, including Kurdish Political Leader Abdullah Ocalan. While the
delegation met with many authorities, among them Minister of Justice Yılmaz
Tunç, the island was not visited. In view of the fact that Mr Öcalan has been
completely cut off from the outside world for three years, such a visit would
have been obligatory.

Isolation is torture. The fact that the Council of Europe’s Committee for the
Prevention of Torture does not react adequately and according to its mandate
is totally unacceptable.

We urge the CPT to explain the situation regarding the Imrali High-Security
Prison immediately.

We call upon the Council of Europe to use all possible mechanisms to end this
lawlessness.

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

Stop Turkey’s war on Northern Syria

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please find below and attached our statement regarding Turkey’s war on Northern Syria.

Kind regards 

Prof. Kariane Westrheim 

EUTCC Chairperson 

Stop Turkey’s war on Northern Syria

Turkey has been bombing northern Syria since October 4, 2023. Civilians and critical infrastructure are targeted in the attacks. The day before, the Turkish Foreign Minister and former head of intelligence Hakan Fidan openly announced these attacks.

While the international community rightly speaks of crimes against humanity and international law in relation to Russia’s war against Ukraine, condoning silence prevails in relation to NATO member Turkey.

This double standard is intolerable. International law and human rights are universal.

The international community and all international organizations, first and foremost the United Nations, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, are called upon to react immediately. These crimes against humanity must be internationally outlawed and met with sanctions.

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

Statement: Election in Turkey

Dear Sir or Madam,
Please find attached our statement regarding the run-off election in Turkey.
If you need further information, don’t hesitate to contact us. 
Kind regards 
Prof. Kariane Westrheim EUTCC Chairperson 

Statement on the run-off election in Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was declared the winner of the run-off election, which was neither free nor fair. He won by a narrow margin. His challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu achieved very high vote shares especially in the Kurdish provinces, despite the deep nationalist tones. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and The Green Left Party (YSP) had called for his election in order to pave a way out of autocracy.
European heads of state and government did not wait to congratulate Turkey and to express their hope for good cooperation, as did Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The restraint in the run-up to the elections already indicated that people were prepared for Erdoğan to carry on as usual.
What the country’s politics will look like in the future was hinted at in Erdoğan’s speech after the election. “It is not possible for him [Selahattin Demirtaş] to get out of prison under our rule.” He will not care about European court rulings in the future either. He will also make the refugee agreement paid even better. The entire Middle East will continue to be marked by instability. An end to the expansive foreign policy is not in sight.
A clear stance is needed from Europe and its institutions for the opposition, which has fought for change despite the strongest repression. Turkey’s policy under Erdoğan must not remain without consequences. If judgments of the European Court of Human Rights continue to be disregarded, the Council of Europe must take the necessary measures for violation of the convention.  

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

Statement on Paris Attack

Dear Sir or Madam,
Please find below our statement regarding the attack against Kurds in Paris. 
Kind regards 
Prof. Kariane Westrheim EUTCC Chairperson 

STOP TURKEY’S ATTACKS ON EUROPEAN SOIL 
Only two weeks before the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Kurdish politicians Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez, on December 23, the Kurdish Cultural Centre in Paris was attacked by an armed person. Three people lost their lives, three were injured. 
There are many crucial questions to be answered. However, there is no question that the attack was politically motivated and specifically directed against Kurds. 

The statements of Turkish ministers are an important indicator with regard to the background of the attack. While communication director Fahrettin Altun warned France that “the disinformation campaign of the terrorist group will not only damage the bilateral relations between Ankara and Paris, but France itself” (speech at a panel entitled “Turkey-France Relations Opportunities and Challenges” in Ankara on 20 December). On December 24 Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu underlined that ‘Tayyip Erdoğan will not only purge the terrorists in Turkey, but also the terrorists in the world.’ 
If the forces responsible for the assassination in 2013 had been brought to light and appropriate consequences drawn, the current attack could have been avoided. 

The EU Turkey Civic Commission condemns the attack in the strongest terms and demands a complete clarification which is also necessary for the Paris attack in 2013. Generating the narrative of a mentally ill, racist lone perpetrator is dangerous. The European Union, and France in particular, must take a clear stance against all acts of terrorism by Turkey on European soil. 
EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission

EUTCC Urgent Panel Debate


The Turkish Republic and its Kurdish Question: A War Without Borders

8 December7 pm (CET) Zoom


On 26 November, Turkey launched another military offensive against the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria, initially via air strikes. Dozens of civilians were killed, important infrastructure (including hospitals, grain depots) was destroyed. President Erdoğan announced an additional ground offensive. 
A few weeks earlier, on 18 October, footage had been released of HPG fighters with symptoms consistent with fatal poisoning by chemical substances. A delegation of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Germany and Switzerland (IPPNW) to the region at the end of September had already called for an investigation into the use of chemical weapons. In the wake of this the President of the Turkish Medical Association, Prof. Şebnem Korur-Fincancı, a renowned forensic doctor and co-author of the Istanbul Protocol, was detained for calling for an investigation. 
The speakers will look at the report of IPPNW and the international reactions. Turkey’s recent military offensive in Northern Syria and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will also be discussed. 

Speakers:

  • Saleh Muslim, PYD Co-Chair 
  • Barbara Spinelli, Co-President of the European Association of Lawyers
    for Democracy & World Human Rights (ELDH)
  • Dr. Jan van Aken, scientific advisory board of IPPNW Germany 
  • Dersim Dağdeviren, EUTCC board member 

Moderator: Prof. Kariane Westrheim, EUTCC Chairperson 


Registration via brusselsconferenceep@gmail.com until 6 December 2022.

EU Turkey Civic Commission
www.eutcc.net
Twitter: @EUTCC1
Facebook: Eu Turkey Civic Commission