EU urges democracy in Turkey

European Commission's chief spokesperson urged Turkey to uphold democracy two days after the Turkish military staff issued a rare statement, making a stern warning on secularism amid a growing debate in the country over its presidential vote.

EU urges democracy in Turkey
European Commission's chief spokesperson urged Turkey to uphold democracy two days after the Turkish military staff issued a rare statement, making a stern warning on secularism amid a growing debate in the country over its presidential vote.

"Democracy should be left to the democratically elected government," Johannes Laitenberger told a press briefing Monday.

The Turkish General Staff posted last Friday a late-night statement on its web-site, which expressed "utmost concern" over what it said "endless efforts to disturb fundamental values of Turkey, especially secularism."

The statement also said that an important part of these efforts were exerted "with the permission and within the knowledge of state authorities," which "intensified the gravity of the issue."

Meanwhile, Terry Davis, secretary general of chief European human rights watchdog, Council of Europe also expressed Sunday concern over the statement by the Turkish military.

"This statement looks like a deliberate attempt by the armed forces to influence the election of a new president in Turkey. They should stay in their barracks and keep out of politics," Davis said.

"In a democracy, the military are under the command of democratically elected state authorities. The armed forces do not have any democratic legitimacy of their own and therefore cannot have a political role," Davis added. "I am shocked that the military in a member state of the Council of Europe should behave in this way in the midst of a democratic and constitutional process such as the election of the head of state."

Source: AA
Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2007, 12:38
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