Turkey’s President and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Strasbourg on 24-25 January 2011 & Questions on Turkey’s Implementation of Articles 19.6 and 19.7 of the PACE Resolution 1704


Dear Sir/Madam,

We refer to Article 20 of Resolution 1704, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (“PACE”) on 27 January 2010, which calls upon Turkey to “report back on the progress made on each point in paragraphs 16...and 19 of the present resolution by February 2011.” 

In this letter, the Syriac Universal Alliance (“SUA”) offers (a) brief comments on Turkey’s lack of commitment to implement Articles 19.6 and 19.7 of the aforementioned Resolution; (b) a refutation of the irrational replies by Turkish Delegates to the PACE (“Attachment 1”); and (c) critical questions which the SUA hopes you and other Members of the PACE will table and raise in Strasbourg with:

  • Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, who will chair and address the PACE Committee of Ministers on Monday 24 January 2011 from 3-4 p.m. The deadline for tabling written questions has been set on Monday 17 January at 11.30 a.m.; and
  • Turkey’s President, Mr. Abdullah Gül, who will address the PACE on Tuesday 25 January from 12 a.m. to 1 p.m. Again, Members of the PACE are permitted to ask questions.

Prolegomena: The SUA and Resolution 1704
Since 1999, the SUA is a Non‐Governmental Organization (“NGO”) in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is the leading voice of the Aramean (Syriac) people who are indigenous to Southeast Turkey (see “Attachment 2”), and thus rightfully seeks the protection of their basic human rights, undifferentiated from those afforded to other minorities.

Last year, on 15 January 2010, the SUA issued a memorandum (with recommendations) requesting the PACE Members to pay heed to the neglected Aramean people in Turkey; see www.sua-ngo.org to read the memorandum in five translations. All three of the SUA’s recommendations were almost literally adopted by PACE and included in Resolution 1704 as Articles 19.6, 19.7 and 20, respectively. Presently, the SUA focuses on Articles 19.6 and 19.7.

In the SUA’s Turkey 2010 Report (“SUA Turkey Report”), which we are delighted to share at your request, we present a detailed discussion on other neglected key issues that similarly concern the forgotten Aramean people in Turkey. The SUA Turkey Report also includes ten (10) critical questions and an equal number of recommendations for the Turkish Government.



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