FM Çavuşoğlu: PACE no longer home to democracy, rule of law

OKAN MÜDERRISOĞLU
ASTANA
Published

Foreign Minister and former President the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that PACE is not home to democracy and the rule of law any longer.

Speaking to a group of journalists who accompanied his recent visit to Kazakh capital Astana, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that rising racism also poisoned the spirit of the PACE. ‘‘PACE is no longer home to democracy and the rule of law. The PACE used to have credible members who had influence on everyone. No one would ever give credit to terrorism not matter what happens.'' Çavuşoğlu said on March 17. ‘‘Executives of the Council of Europe are also unhappy about these unpleasant developments,'' he added.

Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu was elected as the president of PACE for the 2010-2012 term, becoming the first Turkish parliamentarian to hold this office. He was granted the title of Honorary President of PACE in 2014.

Turkey became one of the major contributors of PACE in 2016 through the meticulous efforts by Çavuşoğlu and Turkey's contribution to PACE increased from 14 million euros in 2015 to 34 million euros on Jan. 1, 2016, the same year Turkey's seats in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and PACE increased from 12 to 18, along with the introduction of the Turkish language to both bodies.

However, as the PACE reintroduced a monitoring process against Turkey on April 25 2017 and awarded a Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) member, Murat Arslan, with a human rights award, the country has withdrawn from its "main contributor" status in the PACE.

Responding to question about Turkey's negative image in Europe Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said that "Turkey have currently been continuing its biggest fight against terrorism and under the current conditions Turkey's security is more important more vital rather than having a good image." He added, "Our security is much more important than our image now. We can end the state of emergency once we have ensured that all the preventative measures have taken and we can restore our image by initiating new reform agendas. But our future would be at risk if we don't take this measures."

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