Offener Brief zur Lage in der Türkei

European flag and Turkish flag

Offener Brief von Europaabgeordneten, WissenschafterInnen und Zivilgesellschaft an die EU-Außenbeauftragte Federica Mogherini und den Generalsekretär des Europarates Thorbjørn Jagland zur Lage in der Türkei.

 

 Brussels, 23 July 2016 

OPEN LETTER

to: Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission
to: Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Dear HR/VP Federica Mogherini,
Dear Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland,

On Friday 15 July, Turkey experienced an attempted coup, which has resulted in more than 200 victims, mostly civilians, and more than 1400 wounded. Immediately after the failed coup, the Turkish Government started a massive, totally disproportionate purge within the State apparatus. Since the day of the coup, as of 20 July 2016, the total number of purges (suspension from duty and arrests) in public services has totalled more than 61,000 people. The following sectors have been in particular purged: Ministry of Justice (2875 judges and prosecutors), Prime Ministry (257 personnel), Interior Ministry (8,777 police officers, gendarmerie, province governors, local governors and staff), National Education Ministry (21,738 personnel suspended), Higher Education Council (116 professors, including 4 rectors, + 1577 university deans asked to resign), Minister of the Family and Social Policies (393 civil servants), Finance Ministry (1500 personnel), National Intelligence Service (100 personnel), Turkish Energy Regulatory Market (25 personnel). Development Ministry (16 personnel), Ministry of Forestry and Water Management (197 personnel), Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (300 personnel), Ministry of Youth and Sports (245 personnel), Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (70 personnel), Radio Television Supreme Council (29 personnel), Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (86 personnel), Ministry of Customs and Trade (176 personnel), Competition Authority (8 personnel), Military Court of Appeals (35 personnel), Defence Ministry (7 personnel), Istanbul Stock Market (51 personnel).

21,000 teaching licences in private institutions have been revoked.

It is likely that academics will come next. Thousands of academics had already been under investigation on grounds that they were “supporting” terrorist activity for having defended the Kurdish populations in South East Turkey, under extensive and lethal attack by Turkish regular forces over the past year.

According to several sources – among them Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn – the lists of people to arrest were ready before the coup even started. Some of these sources maintain the coup was staged as extrema ratio against these lists.

The Turkish Prime Minister has suspended the annual leave of more than three million civil servants nationwide, and public sector employees are also banned from travelling abroad.

Moreover, following an interview with CNN on 18 July 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not ruled out the possibility of bringing back the death penalty in Turkey. In the meantime, the state of emergency has been proclaimed by the Government, together with the temporary suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights, as permitted by article 15 of the ECHR. The same article does not imply the disrespect of fundamental principles enshrined in the Convention.

There are no checks and balances left. There are reports that those taken under custody cannot find lawyers, since no one would dare defend them and become part of the purge list.

Turkey is a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights and of Protocol n. 6 to the ECHR concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty. As a candidate country for accession to the EU, Turkey has also committed itself to the full observance of the Copenhagen criteria, including stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, abolition of capital punishment.

We, the undersigned, condemn any attempt to overturn the democratic order by military coups. At the same time, we condemn the purge undertaken by the Turkish Government in violations of human rights and the rule of law. The principle of independence and impartiality of the judiciary – together with freedom of the media – is at the foundation of the rule of law and democracy. The political independence of the educational profession is essential for free societies.

We call on the HR/VP Federica Mogherini, as well as the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, to closely monitor the situation in Turkey, as far as the respect for human rights and the rule of law is concerned, and ask for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily arrested and detained in the wake of the failed military coup.

We recall the recent bill adopted by the Turkish Parliament regarding the waiver of immunity from prosecution of several MPs, belonging mostly to the opposition party HDP. All the evidence seems to suggest that the coup represents an opportunity for the Turkish government to further restrict the role of the oppositions and their function of democratic oversight. Shortly after arriving in Istanbul, early Saturday morning, Mr Erdogan said in a statement: “This insurgency is a blessing from Allah, because it will allow us to purge the military” of mutineers.

We call therefore on the HR/VP Mogherini to scrutinise the situation, paying particular attention to the condition of the Kurdish minority and other minorities in the country. We urge as well Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland to remind the Turkish government of its obligation to respect the European Convention on Human Rights and all its protocols, including the right to life, to fair trials, to protection from arbitrary arrests.

We also urge the HR/VP Mogherini to demand the European Council to withdraw immediately the EU-Turkey Agreement, signed on 18 March 2016, in the light of the recent developments. Since the signature of the Agreement, Turkey has not been a “safe country” for refugees and asylum-seekers.

Finally, we request all the EU Member States to fully engage with the Turkish government in order to reinstate completely the rule of law and the democratic principles in the country as a basic condition for future diplomatic relationships and the continuation of the accession negotiations.

Best regards,

Barbara SpinelliMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Albena Azmanova Associate Professor of Political and Social Thought. Director, postgraduate programmes Political Strategy and Communication and International Political Economy University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies

Étienne Balibar Professor Emeritus (philosophy), University of Paris-Ouest, Anniversary Chair in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London

Seyla Benhabib Eugene Mayer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University

Sophie Bessis Historian, Tunisia-France

Hamit Bozarslan Historian and political scientist, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris

Susan Buck-Morss ­Political Philosopher, CUNY Graduate Center, NYC

Judith Butler Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature and Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley

Claude Calame Historian and anthropologist, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris

Joseph H. Carens FRSC Professor of Political Science University of Toronto

Maeve Cooke Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor of Philosophy, University College Dublin

Vincent Duclert Historian at Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, France

Didier Fassin – Professor of social sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Éric FassinProfessor of sociology, Paris-8 University

Shelley Feldman International Professor, Cornell University

Peter Geschiere – Emeritus professor of anthropology, University of Amsterdam and Leiden University, NL

Michael HardtProfessor, Duke University, USA

David Harvey Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Marianne Hirsch William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality

Philip Hogh Philosophy Department, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

Jean E. HowardGeorge Delacorte Professor in the Humanities, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Julia KoenigInstitute for Social Pedagogy and Adult Education, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

Elena LoizidouReader in Law and Political Theory at School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London

Sandro Mezzadra Professor of political theory at the University of Bologna

Jennifer Nedelsky Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Toronto

Rosalind Petchesky Distinguished Professor Emerita of Political Science Hunter College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Ilaria PossentiResearch fellow in political philosophy, University of Verona, Italy

Mary Louise Pratt Silver Professor, Professor Emerita of Social and Cultural Analysis, Spanish & Portuguese, Comparative Literature, New York University

Lynne SegalAnniversary Professor, Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London

Vicky SkoumbiEditor in chief of the Greek Journal αληthεια

Céline Spector Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, honorary member of the Institut Universitaire de France

Yanis Varoufakis Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens, former Finance Minister and Member of Parliament, Greece

Frieder Otto WolfFreie Universität Berlin, Former Member of the European Parliament

Vladimiro Zagrebelsky Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights

François AlfonsiPresident of the European Free Alliance (EFA)

Brando Benifei Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group

José Bové Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Nicola Caputo Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group

Fabio Massimo Castaldo Member of the European Parliament, EFDD Group-M5S

Fabio De Masi Member of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Karima Delli Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Pascal DurandMember of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

José Inácio FariaMember of the European Parliament, ALDE Group

Eleonora Forenza Member of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

María Teresa Giménez BarbatMember of the European Parliament, ALDE Group

Ana Maria Gomes Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group

Tania González PeñasMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Yannick JadotMember of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Benedek Jávor Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Eva Joly Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Josu Juaristi AbaunzMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Jude Kirton-Darling Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group

Stelios KouloglouMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Merja KyllönenMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Patrick Le HyaricMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Paloma López BermejoMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Lorena Lopez de LacalleTreasurer of the European Free Alliance (EFA)

Marisa MatiasMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Stefano MaulluMember of the European Parliament, EPP Group

Marlene Mizzi Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group

Ulrike MüllerMember of the European Parliament, ALDE Group

Javier Nart Member of the European Parliament, ALDE Group

Carolina PunsetMember of the European Parliament, ALDE Group

Michèle RivasiMember of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Sofia SakorafaMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Elly Schlein Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group

Helmut Scholz Member of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Branislav Škripek Member of the European Parliament, ECR Group

Jordi SoleSecretary General of the European Free Alliance (EFA)

Bart Staes Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Dario TamburranoMember of the European Parliament, EFDD Group-M5S

Miguel Urbán CrespoMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Pello Urizar Secretary General of Eusko Alkartasuna (Basque political party)

Ernest Urtasun Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Monika VanaMember of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group

Marie-Christine VergiatMember of the European Parliament, GUE/NGL Group

Julie Ward Member of the European Parliament, S&D Group

Tatjana Ždanoka Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group