Gül calls on gov’t to return to reform process after PACE decision

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Turkey's former President Abdullah Gül. AFP PHOTO / YASSER AL-ZAYYAT

Former President Abdullah Gül on Thursday called on the Turkish government to calmly evaluate a decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to reopen political monitoring of Turkey, saying it would be better to return to the process of reform.

“I sincerely believe that in order to reach desired economic growth levels again, for the wealth of our people and the future of Turkey, we need to rapidly get rid of the psychological trauma created by the treacherous July 15 coup attempt and return to a comprehensive process of reform that could enable our country to approach universal criteria in terms of democracy, law and human rights standards,” Gül said in a statement posted on both his website and on his Twitter account.

Recalling that due to reforms Turkey made in the past, current Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was elected as the head of PACE, where he worked for 10 years, in 2010, Gül added: “As a politician and statesman who experienced and closely knew Turkey’s PACE process, I believe that despite everything, the PACE decision should be evaluated calmly.”
PACE on Tuesday decided to reopen political monitoring of Turkey “until its concerns are addressed in a satisfactory manner.”

The assembly gathered Tuesday in Strasbourg in a session to discuss a report titled “The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey,” during which 113 voted in favor and 45 voted against the monitoring decision.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday reacted to the PACE decision, saying, “Turkey will not recognize this entirely political decision.”

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