COE puts Turkey on watchlist

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
COE puts Turkey on watchlist

The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assemby (PACE) has put Turkey on a monitoring watch list.

There are concerns over what is described as the stifling of dissent and rights violations under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

What has Ankara said?

The Turkish foreign ministry has strongly condemned what it describes as the “unjust decision” of the top European rights body to put it on notice.

Ankara says it has been left with no choice but to reconsider its relations with the organisation, officials are saying.

“Deciding to re-open the monitoring procedure of malicious circles at the PACE is a disgrace to this organ, which claims to be the cradle of democracy,” the ministry said in a statement.

Xenophobia and Islamophobia are “spreading with violence” across Europe, it added.

Turkish court declines referendum appeal

A Turkish court declined to hear an appeal by the main opposition party challenging the acceptance of unstamped ballots in the recent referendum to expand President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.

The Anadolu agency reported that the council of state, Turkey’s judicial body handling appeals against state institutions, says it has no jurisdiction in the case.

Who complained?

The opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). It also asked for the official results of the referendum be postponed until the case is resolved.

When are the results due?

11 to 12 days after the referendum on April 16. Preliminary results put the “Yes” vote at 51.4%.

Why has the vote been criticised?

European election observers say the decision to allow unstamped ballot papers to be counted removed a safeguard against voting fraud.

What has Turkey said?

Erdogan and government ministers have rejected criticism of the vote as politically motivated.

The High Editorial Board has dismissed challenges by the CHP and two other opposition parties.