World Bulletin/News Desk
Jean-Claude Mignon, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will pay an official visit to Turkey on May 13-15.
During his visit, Mignon is scheduled to meet with top Turkish officials, including President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Şahin and representatives of various political parties.
PACE came under the spotlight of the Turkish media after the European body adopted a controversial report in late April in which the members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a “terrorist organization” in the EU, the US and Turkey, were described as “activists.”
However, after the release of the report, Davutoğlu stated that the description of PKK militants as “activists” in the PACE report is only a phrase used in the report and does not constitute a decision by the body. Davutoğlu added that the activities of PKK members are described as “terrorist activities” in the rest of the report.
With a last-minute amendment on the floor, a section of the report, drafted by French socialist deputy Josette Durrieu, was changed to describe PKK members as “activists” rather than “terrorists” or “militants.”
The change of description stands in sharp contrast with earlier reports, decisions, declarations and recommendations adopted by the Council of Europe's institutions, including PACE, the Secretariat and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
While it welcomed the Turkish government's months-long talks with the imprisoned leader of the PKK to pave the way for the organization to lay down its arms, the report said, “The Assembly is aware that the process is fragile and should be accompanied by the withdrawal of the PKK activists from Turkey.”Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2013, 10:39