Announcement Regarding a Question
Put by the Greek Members of the
Ioannis Varvitsiotis and Georgios Papastamkos
by Mr George Nakratza
September 15, 2005
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A blatantly hypocritical question put by the Greek Members of
the European Parliament Ioannis Varvitsiotis and Georgios Papastamkos.
The aforesaid Greek MEP's have put before the European Parliament
a question which demonstrates an unprecedented hypocrisy in its
hostility to Turkey.
In their question to the Parliament the Greek MEP's have accused
Turkey of refusing to respect the decisions of the European Court
of Human Rights in Strasbourg, asking whether this conduct on
the part of Turkey is consistent with the European acquis.
These two politicians have obviously forgotten the old proverb:
people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
The reader will be aware that in its ruling of 10th July 1998
the European Court of Human Rights condemned the Greek authorities'
refusal to officially register the Centre for Macedonian Culture
in Florina as a contravention of article 11 of the European Convention
on Human Rights.
It is worth pointing out that even today, five years after the
European Court's ruling against Greece, the latest application
for registration by the members of the Centre for Macedonian Culture
has been turned down by the Florina Court of First Instance (Decision
No. 243/19/12/03). The representatives of the Centre have again
lodged an appeal with the Appeal Court in Kozani.
Although a full member of the European Union, Greece refuses
to honour the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights; its
own conduct is in no way consistent with the European acquis.
And yet despite this reprehensible behaviour on the part of their
own state, the two Greek MEP's have ventured to submit a question
to the European Parliament in which they inquire to what extent
the conduct of Turkey is consistent with that same European acquis.
Their action demonstrates a degree of hypocrisy which flouts
the most basic principles of political morality.
These observations will be translated into English and forwarded
to many hundreds of MEP's.
FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
Athens, 14 September 2005
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
13 September 2005
Yesterday in the European Parliament
* The Commission expects Turkey to respect the ruling of the
European Court of Human Rights (12 May 2005) concerning the case
of Abdulla Otsalan. Turkey's obligation to comply with all the
rulings of the European Court of Human Rights was stressed by
the Commissioner for Enlargement, Mr. Rehn., in answer to a question
by the leader of the New Democracy MEP's, Mr. Ioannis Varvitsiotis,
and the MEP Professor Georgios Papastamkos. This general obligation
extends of course to the particular case of Abdulla Otsalan: on
12 May 2005 the European Court of Human Rights ruled, inter alia,
that he had not been allowed a fair trial and that Turkey should
take the necessary corrective action.
The two Greek MEP's pointed out that one of the most firmly
grounded objections raised to Turkey's future accession to
the European Union is its failure to protect human rights
freedoms. An example often cited is the refusal of Turkey
- as seen in the statements of leading Turkish officials and
- to comply with the decisions of the European Court of Human
Rights. (See, for example, the ruling on Appeal No. 46221/1,
Otsalan v. Turkey).
In his response to the individual questions put by Messrs. Varvitsiotis
and Papastamkos on the extent to which such conduct is consistent
with the European acquis (article 6 para. 1 and 2 of the Treaty
of the European Union, articles 1-9, para. 3 of the Treaty on
the European Constitution), the Commissioner for Enlargement stressed
that Turkey's obligation to comply with all the rulings of the
European Court of Human Rights was emphasized by the EU at the
44th session of the Turkey-EU Association Council. Moreover, from
the information available to the Commission it appears that the
Turkish authorities do intend to honour the Court ruling in the
case of Otsalan; no statement to the contrary has come to the
attention of the Commission.