The legistative body of Europe's human rights watchdog, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has voted to increase the number of seats allocated to Turkey from 12 to 18 to reflect its increased population. The resolution, which was adopted by PACE's Standing Committee on Friday, said that it was "entirely justified and fair" to increase the number of seats, given that Turkey now has the third-largest population in Europe.
The allocation of seats in the PACE, which brings together 318 parliamentarians from the 47 nations in the Council of Europe, has been based solely on the criterion of population size since 1949. With 18 members, the Turkish delegation to the assembly would become the same size as those of France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom, joining them as the equal largest delegation in the assembly. The smallest delegations consist of only two members. The PACE Standing Committee also voiced its support for the introduction of Turkish as a working language in the assembly alongside German, Italian, Russian, and the two official languages of English and French. The change will come into effect after approval from the statutory organs of the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe is an international organization, promoting co-operation between European countries in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation. Turkey has been a full member of the Council of Europe since 1949.