Turkish legislative panel adopts protocol banning human cloning

Turkish legislative panel adopts protocol banning human cloning

Turan Yılmaz - ANKARA
Turkish legislative panel adopts protocol banning human cloning

AA photo

A parliamentary commission has adopted a protocol of the Council of Europe (CoE) prohibiting the cloning of humans. 

The protocol will become part of domestic law after being approved by the Turkish parliament’s general assembly.

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission approved the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings on March 30.

Noting that the protocol was signed in 1998, Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Levent Murat Burhan attempted to elaborate on the reasons for the delay in its adoption by Turkey, saying: “Perhaps it is because we wanted to wait to see developments concerning cloning and also its implementation because developments have recently occurred. We have also closely followed the positions of other member-states of the Council of Europe on this matter in the meantime.”

The CoE specified at the time that the scope of the protocol was exclusively restricted to the cloning of human beings. 

“It is therefore not intended to comment on the ethical acceptability of cloning cells and tissue for research purposes and for use in medicine, a field in which these techniques can prove to be valuable tools,” the CoE said.

Also speaking before the commission, Alp Can, the head of the Histology and Embryology Department of Ankara University, said that although cloning human beings was “almost technically possible,” it was no longer needed due to developments in organ cloning.

“Producing organs has not yet been achieved in the world. But it is possible to produce tissues which can fulfill the certain functions of an organ. There is a field called ‘tissue engineering.’ Turkey is in a very good shape in regards to tissue engineering,” Can said.