Qa-20, 13 April 2017, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hüseyin Müftüoğlu, In Response To A Question Regarding A Statement By A Number Of Un Rapporteurs Released Prior To 16th April Referendum

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 13.04.2017

The joint press statement released on 13 April 2017 by Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Koumbou Boly Barry, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, has been noted with concern in view of the cooperation maintained by Turkey with the UN mechanisms in the field of human rights.

Shortly before the release of the statement, the Rapporteurs delivered a joint communication on the allegations contained in the statement and asked the Government to submit its response within 60 days. However, turning the allegations into a press release without even waiting for our response, almost simultaneously with the said request for information, falls contrary to the spirit and practice of the present state of cooperation. The fact that the statement was released immediately before the referendum of April 16 and that political comments were made in it in connection with the referendum corroborates the impression that this is an intentional move.

Requests for information by UN human rights mechanisms, including allegations particularly related with terrorist organizations such as FETÖ and PKK are responded by Turkey, and visits by the special procedures to Turkey are allowed in a spirit of transparency and cooperation. In this context, the fact that the interest displayed recently by several UN Special Rapporteurs for FETÖ members was not shown for thousands of Turkish victims of the same terrorist organization is a serious inconsistency, and this reveals ulterior motives behind the approach to the issue.

Such statements that are politically-motivated and incompatible with the spirit of cooperation in the UN can only serve to downgrade the credibility of these mechanisms and the value of their statements. Our concerns in this respect will continue to be raised before the relevant UN platforms. Turkey upholds its commitment to maintain constructive dialog and cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms.

Tahsin Tunç Üğdül Ambassador
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