2016 PA del in Turkey Erdogan 170816OSCE PA delegation (left) meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, 16 August 2016ANKARA, 17 August 2016 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria), is leading a high-level delegation to Turkey following the attempted coup of 15 July. In meetings with the President, Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other officials, the delegation has expressed the solidarity of the OSCE PA with Turkey and its people in the aftermath of the attempted seizure of power.

“Last month’s attempted coup was possibly the clearest attack on democracy we have seen in the OSCE in modern times. Having now seen the rubble left by bombs dropped on the Turkish parliament and having heard how people personally experienced this trauma, I want to reiterate our absolute condemnation of this attack,” said President Muttonen.

“Leaders here rightly describe the events of 15 and 16 July as a victory of the people, citing the thousands who took to the streets to stand in front of tanks and stop the overthrow of Turkey’s constitutional government. Our solidarity remains with them and with the elected leaders who have demonstrated strong will to safeguard democratic institutions,” continued Muttonen, in her first official visit since being elected President.

The delegation visited Ankara exactly one month after the 15 July coup attempt. In addition to President Muttonen, the delegation included OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-Presidents Isabel Santos (Portugal) and Azay Guliyev (Azerbaijan), and the Chair of the Assembly’s human rights committee, Ignacio Sanchez Amor (Spain), as well as Secretary General Roberto Montella and Ambassador Paul Bekkers, Director of the Office of the OSCE Secretary General. The delegation met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Speaker of Parliament Ismail Kahraman, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Members of Turkey’s OSCE PA Delegation, and leaders of all political parties represented in parliament.

2016 PA del in Turkey 170816OSCE PA President Christine Muttonen and Speaker of Turkey's Grand National Assembly Ismail Kahraman (centre) in a meeting with PA delegation (left) in Ankara, 16 August 2016The OSCE PA delegation expressed its appreciation for the unity shown by all parties in parliament following the attacks on 15 July, and strongly encouraged all democratic political forces to remain united and actively engaged. Continued engagement and robust oversight by parliament can contribute to transparency and enhance public trust as the country deals with the aftermath of the attempted coup, said the delegation.

In response to concerns raised by the OSCE PA, the Turkish authorities stressed their intention to hold those responsible for the coup attempt accountable in accordance with the rule of law, and their firm resolve to fully respect all of Turkey’s international commitments as this process moves forward. The delegation was provided with extensive and detailed information on actions taken by state authorities, including suspensions, dismissals and detentions, following the coup attempt. The delegation took note of concerns raised, including by opposition parties, regarding alleged over-reach by authorities since the coup attempt.

The OSCE parliamentarians reiterated the readiness of the OSCE to support Turkey as it addresses the challenges related to the attempted coup, reminding officials of the various tools that the OSCE and its executive structures are ready to offer.

The delegation took note of the authorities’ expressed hopes that the State of Emergency, imposed for three months, may be ended earlier.

Members of the delegation continue later today to Istanbul, where they will continue meetings with representatives of civil society and the media.

In the hours following the attempted coup on 15 July, President Muttonen condemned the attempt to overthrow the government. In the following days, Sanchez Amor, as Chair of the Assembly’s human rights committee, called on Turkish authorities to ensure that the constitutional order is consolidated through respecting human rights (here and here).

For further information on OSCE reactions to the coup attempt, please see:

  • Joint statement by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and OSCE Secretary General of 16 July
  • Statements by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media of 16 July, 21 July, and 28 July
  • Statement by the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of 21 July

Photos of this week's visit to Turkey are available on the OSCE PA's Flickr page.

For more information, including interview availabilities, please contact OSCE PA Programme Officer Loïc Poulain, who is accompanying the delegation, at +45 6010 8963 or [email protected]. Media inquiries can also be directed to OSCE PA Head of Communications and Press Nat Parry, at +45 6010 8177 or [email protected]. Austrian media should contact Florian Steininger at +43 140 110 3862 or [email protected].