Turkish justice minister slams Venice Commission report on constitutional changes
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency“The meaning of the preparation of this report and its presentation to the Council of Europe is to affect the referendum process in Turkey, to encourage people to say ‘no’ in the referendum,” Bozdağ said.
He added that if the Venice Commission wanted to advise Turkey and provide a positive contribution to the charter plans, it should have done so while these changes were being discussed in parliament.
Various recent reports by the European Union and the Council of Europe have harshly criticized Turkey over measures taken by the government in the wake of a deadly coup attempt last year. The bloc has called on Turkey to “observe the highest standards in respecting the rule of law and fundamental rights.”
A delegation from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe visited Turkey on February to speak with Turkish officials about the plans for constitution changes that seeks to give a wide range of executive powers to the president.
Bozdağ described the situation as “unethical” and “unacceptable,” noting that the report was leaked to German media, although it should have remained confidential.
“I wish commission members would not have bothered to come to Turkey to do this work,” Bozdağ said, adding that the text prepared by the commission almost matched with the one devised by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
“It is not objective, certainly not a fair report,” he added.
The Venice Commission comprises of constitutional experts and advises the Council of Europe, of which Turkey is a member.
Last week, Bozdağ called on European observers to be “fair, objective and unbiased,” when writing and issuing reports on Turkey.
Turkey is set to vote on constitutional changes in the referendum on April 16.