OSCE PA pays high-level visit to Turkey amid concerns over constitutional order

OSCE PA pays high-level visit to Turkey amid concerns over constitutional order

OSCE PA pays high-level visit to Turkey amid concerns over constitutional order

AA photo

A high-level delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA) arrived in Turkey on Aug. 16 for a two-day visit aimed at discussing the 15 July coup attempt and its aftermath. 

The first stop in Ankara for the delegation, led by OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen, was the Foreign Ministry headquarters on the first day of their visit, meeting Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

The delegation was set to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım later in the day.

While in Turkey, the delegation is also expected to meet parliamentary party representatives, officials from various government institutions, and members of civil society.

The day after the July 15 failed coup, Muttonen issued a statement condemning the attempted military takeover.

“I have been following the situation in Turkey with great concern. I call for calm and restraint, and condemn in the strongest terms any attempts by parts of the military to overthrow the democratically elected government of Turkey by means of force. It is of utmost importance to return to rule of law and respect for Turkey’s constitutional order as soon as possible,” said the OSCE PA president on July 16.

On July 18, OSCE PA human rights committee Chair Ignacio Sanchez Amor, who is part of the visiting delegation, issued a separate statement condemning the coup attempt and calling for a “calm and prudent” response by the Turkish government.

“I regret the violent events that took place in Turkey on the night of 15 July, especially the loss of human lives, and reiterate OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen’s condemnation of the attempt to overthrow Turkey’s elected leaders. I was relieved by the restoration of constitutional order and the rapid resumption of parliamentary activity, as well as the agreement of the major parties on the constitutional legitimacy of institutions,” said Amor.

“However, I am concerned by some subsequent developments, including mass arrests of judges and other members of the judiciary. Legitimate legal responses to the coup must not lead to reprisals or hasty purges, and a responsible approach must be taken to safeguard democratic institutions. Indeed, it is particularly at times of crisis that democratic approaches and institutions must be upheld,” he also stated. 

“I call for the calm and prudent use of state powers, and for Turkish authorities to ensure that the constitutional order is consolidated through respecting human rights and the independence of democratic institutions,” Amor added.