17 January 2004
Right of return of Ayla Löfving
Written question No 462 to the Committee of Ministers
presented by Mr Lindblad
Ayla Löfving will be 12 years in ten days. She is not going to celebrate her birthday with her mother and sisters and class mates. She was kidnapped by her father Mustafa Dagoglu on August 16, 2004 during a holiday stay in Turkey. Since then Ayla has not had any contact with her mother who is the legal custodian. Her father refuses to let her return home to Sweden.
The Swedish authorities are involved in Ayla’s case in order to repatriate Ayla as soon as possible. Representatives of the Swedish Embassy in Turkey have recently been in contact with the Turkish Ministry of Justice, representatives of which have stated that Mustafa Dagoglu, being father to Ayla, has not committed any crime according to the Turkish law.
Internationalisation of family relationship has been a topical issue for the Council of Europe for decades. The first convention concerning the repatriation of minors was opened for signature 1970. This convention has not entered into force but Turkey has signed and ratified the convention. Turkey has shown its readiness and commitment to solve this kind of problems according to internationally agreed principles also by signing and ratifying the European Conventions on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children (ETS No.105) and on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (ETS No. 160) as well as by signing the recent convention of Contact concerning Children (ETS No. 192).
The Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children protects custody and provides for free, prompt, non-bureaucratic assistance from central authorities designated by each party in discovering the whereabouts and restoring custody of a child improperly removed.
Ayla is a child. It is her right to come back home. Her father with his family with political influence and contacts is not willing to let her return home to Sweden and is probably in a position to manipulate the Turkish authorities. What can the Committee of Ministers do to discover the whereabouts of Ayla and secure her return to Sweden?
LINDBLAD, Göran, Sweden, EPP/CD
1 SOC: Socialist Group
EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group
EDG: European Democratic Group
UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
NR: not registered in a group