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Why Europe doesn’t want to export democracy?

Europe exports advance technology across the globe, with huge investments from Africa to the Middle East and Asia. Europe even sells reference management software and then export experts to far-away lands to train academics to use their software. However, Europe continues to turn a blind eye with investments in democracy and rule of law in other part of the world. Why does Europe not want other to enjoy the fruits of the rule of law?

The question could arise as to why developing countries are not able to build their own democracy? This is not an easy feat as weak states consist of largely uneducated masses that cannot stand tall against the manipulation of some of the world media’s agenda driven journalism, the greed of multinational corporations and state to state relations.

The last example in this regard that the head of the European Court of Human Rights, Robert Spano is visiting Turkey this week despite member state Ankara ranks second after Russia when it comes to violations of human rights. Spano’s visit is prompting harsh criticism from local and international human rights activities as he may give a lecture at the Justice Academy and receive an honorary doctorate in law from Istanbul University, the Turkish Justice Ministry statement mentioned.

There are more than 60 000 thousand individual applications to the European Court of Human Rights for violation of rights and freedom but the European court rejecting Gulen Movement affiliated victims’ applications by simply relying on Erdogan government’s official narratives.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Council of Europe justify the crime of social genocide perpetrated against the Gülen movement in Turkey by conducting discriminatory practices towards to the Movement. Although the European courts takes action to resolve human rights violations in many countries but largely ignores the violations in Turkey due to its cooperation with Erdogan regime.

Turkey’s well-known writer and academic Mehmet Altan who was fired from Istabul University wrote an open letter to Spano to re-consider receiving an honorary doctorate as the University was at the center of a purge following 15 July 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey. “I do not know how much pride there is to be an honorary member of a university that condemns hundreds of lecturers to unemployment and poverty by unjustly expelling them from school,” Altan said.

“The people who will be giving you an honorary doctorate are the very people who dismissed me and many other academics. I was not released despite the Constitutional Court’s judgment finding violations of three separate constitutional rights and ordering my release. Even after the judgment by the ECtHR, presided over by you, held that there had been a violation of my rights.” Professor Altan detailed that how Turkey’s 2nd Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice upheld his conviction.

“The university from which you will receive a doctorate is included as the “defendant institution” in the lawsuits of academics, like me, who were dismissed by decree, “Professor Altan mentioned that these cases are still ongoing and it is likely that they will come before the ECHR, which Spano preside over.

Member of the European Parliament, Kati Piri who served as the Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey’s EU membership also called judge Robert Spano not to accept honorary doctorate from Istanbul University – which fired numerous academics. “Think twice before throwing the credibility of the #ECtHR under the bus!” She tweeted.

According to Dr. Talip Aydin, former Judge and Head of Human Rights Department of Turkish Department of Justice, one of the possible reasons for the rapprochement between the Council of Europe/ECtHR and Turkish regime is the Erdogan’s monetary aids to the Council which is in financial crisis.

The ECtHR has a power to intervene in any intensive and systematic human rights violations which took place in any member state of the convention as the European Convention on Human Rights is a text that protects the fundamental rights of the individuals against the state. Dr Aydin criticizes ECtHR’s biased stance regarding Erdogan’s genocidal policies towards the Gulen Movement since July 15 2016 coup attempt.

Despite Turkish government dismisses or arrested 1/3 of the judiciary as part of ongoing post-coup purge, ECtHR are still rejecting application from Gulen Movement followers, and the court is recognizing Turkish Supreme Court and Constitutional Court as independent and impartial.

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Turkmen Terzi is a journalist, researcher and political commentator focusing on International Relations and Political Science based in South Africa.


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