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EESC president calls on Turkey to respect fundamental rights

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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union, expressed very serious concern for the current situation in Turkey with regard to respect for fundamental rights.

“While the crime committed in attempting to seize power by violence is to be strongly condemned, under no circumstances can an attempted coup d’état serve to justify any deviation from respect of the fundamental rights,” said Georges Dassis, EESC president, in a written statement issued on Monday following an extraordinary meeting of the Bureau of the European Economic and Social Committee, held on Nov. 10.

“It moreover gives cause for alarm that citizens, civil society organisations, journalists and elected representatives, who are not supporters of the attempted coup, are being deprived of certain of their freedoms, with no evidence of their involvement,” said Dassis.

“It is crucial that Turkey remain committed to meeting its obligations, specifically in keeping with the European Convention on Human Rights, by ensuring continuing compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights regarding human rights, even where there are derogations justified by the state of emergency.”

The EESC president called on Turkish authorities to seek a different path to overcoming this difficult challenge: “It is in the interests of Turkey itself, of its people and of its future relations with the European Union to move decisively and irreversibly towards a pluralist, peaceful society in which all ideas, except for incitement to violence, may be freely expressed, where freedom of expression and of association, including the right to demonstrate in public and to take part in strikes, are absolute, and where all the components of civil society, including minorities of every kind, may exist and speak out without fear. ”

Dassis underlined that the best way to finally eliminate any risks to the country is to bring together its people in spite of their diversity and efficiently prepare for its accession to the European Union.

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