PACE monitors express concern at conviction in Turkey of honorary PACE member

PACE monitoring co-rapporteurs for Turkey Marianne Mikko (Estonia, SOC) and Nigel Evans (United Kingdom, EC) have expressed their deep concern at the conviction of honorary PACE member Ertugrul Kürkçü to two years in prison for “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation” following a speech he made during the Newroz celebration of 2016.

“We expect the Turkish authorities to ensure Mr Kürkcü’s freedom of expression is duly guaranteed by the Turkish justice system, taking into account the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights,” said the co-rapporteurs. “The Assembly is fiercely attached to the protection of freedom of expression, which is at the very heart of the exercise of our parliamentary mandates. We will therefore follow with great attention Mr Kürkçü’s appeal trial.”

“Again, we urge the Turkish authorities, especially the Turkish justice system, to abide by their Council of Europe obligations and to re-consider this judgment.”

Mr Kürkçü was a PACE member from January 2012 to November 2013, and from September 2015 to October 2018.