No: 168, 13 June 2013, Press Release on the Resolution Adopted by the European Parliament on the Situation in Turkey

The resolution adopted today by the European Parliament regarding the situation in Turkey damages our common goal of strengthening and furher spreading democracy, and is detached from reality. Therefore, it is null and void for us.

It is an undeniable fact that Turkey is a country which on the international arena, contributes to the further development of the norms of democracy, law and human rights, a country which surpasses many countries that define themselves as advanced democracies in terms of adhering to and implementing documents and is, especially in its region, an exemplary country regarding the goal of achieving stability on the basis of democracy.

The comprehensive advances made, most specifically over the past ten years, by Turkey, one of the founders of the Council of Europe, in the areas of democracy, the rule of law and human rights are evident in all fields of social life. Our Government’s strong will to take further the implementation in this regard continues.

Freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration are among the democratic rights defined in international human rights documents and, in this context, also in the European Human Rights Convention. Our Government is acting resolutely and beyond any doubt for the protection and further development of these rights. This also applies, most recently, to our citizens who have come together to express their democratic demands.

Moreover, an important dimension of international human rights law is the non-authorization and prevention of violence, so that the democratic environment, public order and citizens' rights and safety are protected. The deterrence, prevention of violence and referring those turning to violence to independent judiciary is an important responsibility of democracy and the rule of law.

Indeed, the recent developments point to the threshold reached in the process of the evolution of democratic consciousness and culture. No country or group of countries can lecture Turkey on this issue.
Recent developments in Turkey are not different than those social incidents that have occurred in many European cities especially in recent years. Conversely, while these incidents were not debated to this extent and were not reacted to in a similar fashion, the dimension of the debate on the situation in Turkey is yet another example of the double standard applied to Turkey. The European Parliament has to explain why it does not react to similar incidents in other countries.

The resolutions of the European Parliament can serve their purpose only to the extent they are fair and balanced.