European may not be just concern but also act: Kaye

ANKARA – David Kaye special rapporteur of United Nations (UN) had brought into contact with Turkey’s authorities. Kaye stated that “European may not be just concern but also act ” for the next steps.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion Expression David Kaye had a series of meeting in Turkey. Kaye, made a statement after meeting. Kay will present a report the results about freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey to UN Human Rights Council on March 2017.
Kaye made an interview with dihaber .

* After 17 years a rapporteur’s UN for freedom of opinion and expression came to Turkey. You had applied last year to visit Turkey…

We actually requested of visit last year. In order for us to do official visit a country we need to get an invitation for the government. So we thought last year to visit and they invited us. We scheduled that on February of this year.
So we have requested to visit at the time when we thought there were serious problems in the country such as internet shut down , violation on freedom of expressions ,pressure on the media ,press on specific journalist. We requested a year ago and we didn’t know that it would become even worse, especially after coup attempt of July 15.

* How was your visit of discussions state authorities? Can you share some details about the contacts you had?

We met with government officials and all range of government agencies for these couple of days . We met with people of civil society included quite number of journalist and people associated with media including not just here but in İstanbul as well. We also requested to see a number of journalists included Aslı Erdoğan who are detained in Silivri , Bakırköy and Sincan. We were denied access. And we were given no reason why we were allowed to see some people and not allowed the others.

* Especially in the last month we have seen detention of Kurdish MPs HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) , journalists and we have also seen that trustees have been appointed to municipalities and the mayors have been detained. How do you assess the situation in terms of freedom of expression?

All of those things are on one effort.It seems like that includes demolition of Kurdish media ,radio,TV,broadcast ,newspapers.Detention of political opposition , shutting down of the internet. All of this things are part of shrinking the space for people to share information and communicate.

* As you know EU institutions have criticized the Turkish Government and the President Erdoğan also gave some really harsh reply to EU. How do you think this would effect with Turkey relations between EU?

I think political things can change very quickly.The president can be friends with European leaders one day and not another day.But I think the bigger threat relationship is for example if Turkey brings back the death penalty then EU project is over and Council of Europe is over. I think those kinds of thing is long-term threat.The other issues are just about the day to day such as the president talk. He can change that. But the other stuff can’t be changed.

* UN made a statement about Cizre and killing the a hundred people that they were burnt. UN would send a committee to investigate this issue but it didn’t happened.People of Kurdistan complained that the international organizations and EU are not reacting strongly enough against what is going on in Turkey. Therefore they lose their faith in international law Do you think it would be different if stronger reactions were given in the beginning against such as authoritarianism?

That’s the really good question and its hard to know the right answer .Turkey has a leverage over Europe right now like refugee crisis. Its hard to know one point over the next years if Europe will has stronger view. I am not sure would be different if Europe could give stronger reaction.

* When the government acts against oppositions unlawful , the statement made from Europe is that they are concerned ? How do you express that?

If the situation gets worse the next statement will be “ very heavy deep concern”. Not just for Europe. For example I am an American.It s same language the governments use when they want to do really something until they push to do it.That could come a time may not be just concern but its maybe also “act”. I think it really possible on the next years.It s not certain but its possible.