Turkey’s CHP to take Turkey-EU migrant deal to Council of Europe

Turkey’s CHP to take Turkey-EU migrant deal to Council of Europe

Turkey’s CHP to take Turkey-EU migrant deal to Council of Europe Turkey’s main opposition party will take the migrant deal brokered between Ankara and the EU to the Council of Europe, on the grounds that it violates the European Convention on Human Rights. 

“Human rights organizations in Turkey, in Europe and in the world oppose this agreement. It is in violation of EU values as well as the European Convention on Human Rights, one of the founding documents of the Council of Europe. We are demanding that the Council of Europe immediately address this agreement and announce its legal view on it,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) Eskişehir deputy Utku Çakırözer, a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said at a conference on migration in Tbilisi on March 24. 

“The agreement signed with Turkey shames Europe and its leaders. Instead of fulfilling their legal and humane responsibilities towards refugees who reached their countries after risking death, they want to deport them all as a result of a dirty bargain,” he said. 

Turkey and the EU recently agreed on a plan to stem the flow of hundreds of thousands of Syrian and non-Syrian refugees, which stipulates that Greece send back all irregular migrants reaching its Aegean islands from Turkey. In return, Turkey will send the same number of Syrians to EU countries as it accepts from Greek islands. 

The U.N. refugee agency and many human rights organizations have voiced concern over the legality of the agreement, as relevant conventions aim to ensure the non-refoulement of refugees. 

Deal could be taken to ECHR

Çakırözer also stressed that the refugee crisis is not a problem that Turkey or the EU can resolve with their own resources. 

“This is a problem of the whole of humanity. It can be resolved by taking responsibility. The solution requires legal and humane dimensions,” he said.

Speaking at the same conference, Dutch parliamentarian Tineke Strik supported Çakırözer’s position, recalling past verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which found that resettlement to countries not regarded as “safe” violated international law. 

Strik said the deal would be taken to the ECHR and other human rights organizations.