Chair of the Congress Monitoring Committee addresses the Venice Commission on the Situation in Turkey
Addressing the 110th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission on 10 March 2017, Leen Verbeek, Chair of the Congress Monitoring Committee, presented the fact-finding mission organised in 2016 by the Congress in Turkey in order to examine the situation of local elected representatives in this country.
“Since September 2016, at least 55 trustees have been appointed and at least 81 mayors have been jailed. For us there is a clear violation of several articles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government”, he explained mentioning that the Venice Commission’s work on Turkey has helped in the preparation of this report. “The situation is constantly evolving and – in our opinion – deteriorating at an alarming rate. There appears to be a concerted attempt to roll back local democracy in Turkey which we believe is in conflict not just with the Charter but with Turkey’s own Constitution,” he stated stressing that the emergency decrees should relate to the risk situation and be proportionate. “This is why – assuming that the draft resolution in this report is adopted on 29 March at the Congress Session – we will be asking the Venice Commission to prepare a legal opinion on this issue.”
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