Author : Hurriyet Dailynews
Posted : March 1, 2017
Turkish Parliament Deputy Speaker Ahmet Aydın on March 1 accused the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) of “almost being taken hostage” by people with “anti-Turkish agenda.”
Aydın said Turkey was being singled out for unfair criticism.
“We believe it is not with good intentions to ask that Turkey should be discussed as a hot topic and work on reports regarding the functioning of [the country’s] democratic institutions,” he said.
His remarks came as he received PACE rapporteur Jordi Xucla in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Turkey is in close contact with the council and pays attention to its reports, Aydın said.
In the meeting, however, he said Turkey had received “severe criticism based on groundless claims.”
“What we expect from the Council of Europe is that it does not [cause] Turkish people to lose belief in Europe due to unreasonable criticism which [supports] terrorism. Rather, the Council of Europe should support the Turkish people’s commitment to democracy and their steps on this,” he added.
Aydın stressed Turkey’s determination to move forward on democratization “with its parliament, government and people,” and to maintain good relations with PACE.
Xucla, whose visit came eight months after the deadly July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, expressed solidarity with Turkey in its fight for democracy.