The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected a motion for an “urgent” debate to put Turkey on the watch list as a democracy. The opponents of Turkey failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed to have the motion go through, which to say the least, is a relief for those of us who believe in the virtues of Turkey’s relations with Western institutions headed by the Council of Europe of which Ankara is a founding member.
Turkey had earlier eased some of the restrictions in the State of Emergency rule that was declared after the failed bloody coup attempt on July 15. The government issued a decree with the power of law which reduced the detention period from 30 days to seven. The government also set up a commission to handle appeals by civil servants who have been suspended for their alleged links with the Fetullah Gülen terrorist outfit.
These moves by the government and the counter vote at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe show that there is a will on both sides not to hurt the relations between Turkey and a vital Western institution like the Council of Europe.
However, all this does not give us any comfort. The fact that there are still those in Europe who try to hurt us as our country goes through hard times and that our own political parties try to help them is a source of deep sorrow.
We do not expect much from the Kurdish nationalist Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) deputies who are affiliated with the PKK terrorist organization and get their orders from the terrorist headquarters in Qandil in northern Iraq. They will vote and act against the vital interests of Turkey at every opportunity. Yet we are really hurt to see that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly refused to vote against the motion on Turkey. This is an action that borders on the limits of treason.
What is deeply disturbing is the fact that so many European parliamentarians are still so ignorant about the democratic institutions and traditions in Turkey.