Tag Archives: Turkey

#Utrecht: terrorist act indications

On March 18, in the evening, the police were already able to report that the main suspect, a 37-year-old man residing in Utrecht, could be arrested in a house on Oudenoord. The investigation has so far revealed no relationship between the main suspect and the victims. A firearm was found during his arrest”, Dutch police reported.

“In connection with the investigation, the police carried out searches in houses in various locations in Utrecht and elsewhere yesterday and last night. In addition to the main suspect, two other suspects were arrested. These are men from Utrecht aged 23 and 27. Of these men, the police investigate whether they are possibly involved in the shooting incident. The suspects are still detained and will be further interrogated.”

“The police and the Public Prosecution Service continue to investigate today, including the motive. So far, a terrorist motive has been seriously taken into account. Among other things, a letter found in the flight car and the nature of the fact give cause for this. Other motives are not excluded, they are also being investigated. Furthermore, agents will be visibly present in the neighborhoods and in contact with relevant parties.”

In absence of any personal contacts between the attacker and the victims Dutch leader of antiIslam Freedom party (PvV) Geert Wilders concluded that the shooting in tram was a terrorist act.

Gökmen T., who is detained for the attack in a Utrecht tram, perambulated freely yesterday because he had promised to cooperate in an investigation. He did that in the rape case in which he was involved, Dutch media NOS reports.

Yesterday, after T.’s arrest, it became clear that he had a criminal record of an exceptional gravity, and that he was recently detained. The Central Netherlands court has now given an explanation.

For the rape for which T. was arrested in August 2017, he was released a month later under conditions. But because he did not cooperate in a personality test and a report of the probation service, he was again detained last January.

At the end of last month, 37-year-old T. explicitly stated before the court that he would now cooperate in investigations. He was subsequently released conditionally on 1 March. The substantive treatment of the rape case was planned for July.

The court also reports that T. was sentenced this month in two other cases. He was given two weeks in jail for a shop theft, half of which was conditional. Furthermore, a burglary caused him to four months in prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utrecht gunman Chechnya-ISIS record

The leader of Dutch anti-Islam Freedom Party (PvV) Geert Wilders  (pictured) confronted  Prime Minister Mark Rutte with a request to explain how a Turkish man who is suspected in involvement in terrorism in Chechnya, and with Islamic State (ISIS),was released from prison, and could freely perambulate in Utrecht streets.

“…How can anyone with a criminal record full of atrocities from manslaughter to theft, destruction and rape roam freely and shoot with a weapon in a tram innocent people dead??? Explain that, Rutte”, Wilders challenged the Prime Minister, via his Twitter micro blog.

Meanwhile a Turkish businessman residing in Utrecht told BBC Türkçe that the shooter Tanış had “fought in Chechnya and that a “few years ago was arrested and released for his connection to ISIS. He was not a part of the Turkish community [in Holland], he was a outcast“, he added.

Ankara “strongly condemns” Utrecht attack

Turkish intelligence service is investigating the motive of the suspect in #Utrecht shooting. President Erdogan has announced, according to reports of Reuters news agency from Ankara. The intelligence services investigate whether there is a terrorist motive and trace or whether the suspect had a different impulse. In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said it “strongly condemns” the attack.

The intelligence services have launched an investigation into possible ties of the assailant with the terrorist groups, namely if he had contacts in Chechnya, or in Islamic State (ISIS).

EU expects Turkey juridical reform

The EU reaffirmed the importance of the relations between the EU and Turkey, a candidate country and a key partner and stressed the importance of open and frank dialogue, within the established framework, in order to address common challenges in areas of joint interest such as migration, counter-terrorism, energy, transport, the economy and trade.

“The EU underlined that the Turkish government’s stated commitment to EU accession needs to be matched by corresponding reforms and recalled that the Council conclusions of 26 June 2018 state that Turkey has been moving further away from the European Union and that accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill. The EU reiterated its concerns over the continuing and deeply worrying backsliding in the areas of fundamental rights and rule of law, and the deterioration of the independence and functioning of the judiciary. In this regard, the EU expressed its expectation from Turkey to ensure that its plans for judicial reform are realised in line with EU and Council of Europe standards.”

The EU welcomed the UN efforts to resume negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, and recalled that it remains crucial that Turkey commits and contributes to the process and to a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement within the UN framework, in accordance with UNSC resolutions and in line with EU principles and the EU acquis.”

The EU-Turkey Association Council held its 54th meeting on Friday, 15 March 2019, in Brussels. The meeting was the first one held after the lifting of the State of Emergency in Turkey last year, and provided a useful opportunity to take stock of EU-Turkey relations and exchange views on a range of issues.

On the EU side, the meeting was chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms Federica MOGHERINI. Mr Johannes HAHN, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations also participated. Mr Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief Negotiator of Turkey, led the Turkish delegation.

Piri MEP believes in Turkey European future

Reacting upon the severe political and democratic regress, the European Parliament recommended suspending EU accession negotiations with Turkey.

If the EU takes its own values seriously, no other conclusion is possible than to formally suspend the talks on EU integration. Our repeated calls to respect fundamental rights have fallen on deaf ears in Ankara. On top of the severe human rights violations, the dismantling of the rule of law and the fact that Turkey holds the world record for the number of journalists in jail, the recently amended constitution consolidates Erdoğan’s authoritarianism” Dutch Socialist MEP Kati Piri Rapporteur on Turkey said.

Kati Piri believes that the definitive closure of the accession talks, suggested by ENF group is a wrong move,  rejecting those forces, who desire change and who share European values. Although fully admitting that today’s Turkey does not match the Copenhagen criteria, she considers crucial to keep the door open for possible positive changes in the future.

“I realize that stopping the accession talks is not a step which will help Turkey’s democrats. For that, the EU leaders must use all possible tools to exert more pressure on the Turkish government. The Parliament, therefore, calls for dedicated funds to be made available to support civil society, journalists and human rights defenders in Turkey. In addition, modernising the customs union must remain conditional on clear improvements in the field of human rights. And more efforts must be put into people-to-people exchange programmes” MEP added.

A resolution was adopted March 13 by 370 votes in favour, 109 against with 143 abstentions. Kati Piri thanked her all those who participate in working on the resolution, including shadow rapporteurs.

MEPs for suspension of Turkey accession talks

Following years of severe political and democratic backsliding, the European Parliament recommended suspending EU accession negotiations with Turkey.

MEPs remain seriously concerned about Turkey’s violations of human rights, the rule of law, media freedom and the fight against corruption, authoritarian trends .

However MEPs welcome Turkey’s decision, last year, to lift the state of emergency introduced after the failed coup attempt in 2016. However, they regret that many of the powers granted to the President and executive following the coup attempt remain in place, and continue to limit freedom and basic human rights in the country. MEPs express concern about the shrinking space for civil society in the country, as a large number of activists, journalists and human rights defenders are currently in jail.

Taking into account the human rights situation and the new Turkish constitution, the European Parliament recommends that the current EU accession negotiations with Turkey be formally suspended.

 

Despite the serious situation, MEPs express their will to stand behind Turkish citizens, and keep the political and democratic dialogue open. EU funds must be made available – not via Ankara, but to Turkish civil society – for human rights defenders, students and journalists to promote and protect democratic values and principles.

 

 

Europe outlaws sharia

The resolution was passed at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which meets four times a year to set the agenda of the international assembly. The parliamentarians noted with ‘great concern‘ that three member states, Albania, Azerbaijan and Turkey, have endorsed explicitly or implicitly, the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.

Moreover the assembly is  ‘greatly concerned‘ about the fact that sharia, including provisions that contravene the European Convention on Human Rights, is applied either officially or unofficially in member states.

In the UK, ‘sharia councils attempt to provide a form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby members of the Muslim community, sometimes voluntarily, often under considerable social pressure, accept their religious jurisdiction mainly in marital and Islamic divorce issues, but also in matters relating to inheritance and Islamic commercial contracts,‘ the resolution states.

The body that oversees the European Convention on Human Rights has named the UK – along with Albania, Azerbaijan and Turkey – in a hard-hitting resolution highlighting conflicts between sharia law and universal human rights. A measure adopted last night by the 47-nation Council of Europe raises concerns about the role of sharia councils in family, inheritence and commercial law.

Rulings of sharia councils ‘clearly discriminate against women in divorce and inheritance cases’, the resolution states. It calls on the UK to make it a legal requirement for Muslim couples to register their marriages civilly before or at the same time as their religious ceremony.

The Assembly welcomes recommendations put forward in last year’s independent report into the application of sharia in England and Wales and calls on the UK to ensure councils operate within the law ‘especially as it relates to the prohibition of discrimination against women, and respect all procedural rights‘.

It sets a deadline of June 2020 for the UK to report back on reviewing the Marriage Act to make it a legal requirement for Muslim couples to register their marriages civically, as is required for Christian and Jewish marriages.

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