Strasbourg, September 8, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has sought to assure the Council of Europe (CoE) that the Turkish government will be transparent in the post-coup attempt process, underlining that the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) would continue to be Turkey’s guide, even during difficult times.
“Monitoring by the Court of Human Right is in place; the European Convention of Human Rights as always guides [Turkey], even at these difficult times,” Çavuşoğlu said while speaking at a press conference after briefing his fellow ministers at the CoE of the situation in his country after the botched coup.
They have never forgotten that rule of law prevails in Turkey and everybody should give account in the judicial process, the Çavuşoğlu stated, adding Turkish security forces arrested those who intended to assassinate the president without hurting them so they could be put on trial. Discussions with the CoE were very fruitful, he said, adding that Turkey and the European body cooperated to make this process transparent.
In this framework, a delegation from the Justice Ministry had talks in Strasbourg to revive this working group, Çavuşoğlu said.
Discussions on the death penalty were brought to the agenda by the people of Turkey after the coup attempt in a sentimental environment, but there was a more rational atmosphere emerging in Turkey in order to discuss the issue, he said.
The also minister stated that “threats” and “ill and negative statements” from Brussels had prompted such sentiments from the Turkish people.
The council’s head, Thorbjorn Jagland, for his part, said Turkish officials were open with the CoE, stressing the practice of the council’s norms in prosecutions and taking evidence into consideration.
“What is important now is to see that all judicial safeguards are in place and that the presumption of innocence prevails,” said Jagland.
During their meeting Çavuşoğlu and Jagland discussed what help the council could provide on matters in respect to the rule of law.