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Ref. CG-CP039 (2016)

Council of Europe Congress rapporteurs complete fact-finding mission to Turkey

Strasbourg, 21 December 2016 - From 18 to 20 December 2016, the rapporteurs on Turkey of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Anders KNAPE (Sweden, EPP/CCE) and Leen VERBEEK (Netherlands, SOC) carried out the second part of their fact-finding mission to Turkey, to investigate the recent detentions of elected mayors and their replacement by government appointees in over 40 municipalities [46 municipalities].

They held a series of meetings in Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakır, including meetings with Vice Minister of the Interior Mr Sebahattin OZTURK, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Mr Selahaddin MENTES, local elected representatives, a government-appointed mayor, lawyers, associations of municipalities and NGOs.

“This was a most useful mission for us, which has enabled us to understand much more clearly the context of these developments”, said Anders KNAPE, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities. “It was important for us to get round the table with the parties concerned and to hear the different points of view”, added Leen VERBEEK, chair of the Congress Monitoring Committee.

The rapporteurs will present the report of their mission to the Congress Monitoring Committee at its meeting in Athens on 16 February 2017 and report to the Congress 32nd plenary session (28-30 March 2017).

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

Planning, Coordination and institutional Communication Unit

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The Congress has two chambers, the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions. It brings together 324 full and 324 substitute members representing more than 200 000 European territorial communities.

President of the Congress: Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), President of the Chamber of Local Authorities: Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CCE), President of the Chamber of Regions: Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP-CCE)

Political Groups: Socialist Group (SOC), Group of the European People’s Party (EPP/CCE), Independent and Liberal Democrat Group (ILDG), European Conservatives & Reformists Group  (ECR)