Press Release of the Ministry of Justice on the Venice Commission’s Report On Turkey

By 03/14/2017April 25th, 2020No Comments


The report of the Venice Commission adopted on 10 March 2017 with respect to the Constitutional amendment concerning the Presidential Government System aims at affecting the results of the referendum and is clearly contrary to the mission and vision of the Commission.

The mission of the Commission is limited to providing assistance and recommendation with the aim of improving the functioning of democratic institutions in member States and ensuring the protection of human rights. In this sense, it is contrary to the defined rules of functioning of the Commission to make assessments on matters concerning the domestic politics of the member States and to use a political language instead of a technical discourse.

This report, which the Commission drafted, by unprecedentedly exceeding its authority, was prepared to influence the national will in Turkey in the referendum to be held on 16 April and includes biased and subjective assessments which clearly support the ongoing “no” campaigns.

It is obvious that the Commission, which is in charge of counselling in the constitution-making process, will not ensure that the report on the Constitutional amendment will make any legal contributions after the amendment has been adopted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the referendum process has been initiated.

The drafting process of the report is also extremely problematic in legal and technical terms since the rapporteurs sent the draft opinion only five days after their visit to our country on 20-21 February 2017. The rapporteurs prepared the draft opinion on the Constitutional amendment, which include fundamental instruments such as the system of government, within such a short time. This shows most clearly that the report on the Constitutional amendment does not include any objective, legal and unbiased assessments but is based on deceptive and exaggerated views of those who try to hinder the amendment of the Presidential Government System and show hostility against Turkey.

On the other hand, the draft report is submitted to Turkish authorities and the members of the Venice Commission a very short time before the general assembly. Having insufficient time to examine the views and objections of Turkey regarding the report, the members of the Venice Commission were misled and deceived by the biased and intentional draft report of the rapporteurs which was prepared hastily, was based on inadequate examination, reflected the allegations and falsifications of CHP and HDP opposition parties.

The Venice Commission is a consultative body. The Commission is respected and accredited not only in the geography of the Council of Europe but also in the world. This respect and credit was earned by the Council of Europe after its efforts for long years. An esteemed institution such as the Venice Commission has adopted the reports which are away from being scientific, are subjective and are prepared for political purposes instead of legal motives. This abuses the confidence in the Commission and besmirches its reputation.

Having been designated to provide technical and legal opinions within the context of constitutional works, the Commission is obliged to observe the principle of neutrality in the political and democratic preferences of member States and to abstain from making any political manipulation or assessment. The Council of Europe should not approve of politically motivated and manipulative efforts in order to protect the reputation of the Venice Commission.

This report which is not fair, objective, neutral or technical but is based on political and subjective considerations is not honourable for Turkey.

We find it beneficial to underline that the Constitutional amendments have been adopted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The decision will be taken by Turkish nation at this phase. Neither the Venice Commission nor any other power will absolutely have the right to intervene with the free will of Turkish nation which will manifest itself in the referendum. Everyone should respect the will of Turkish nation which will be seen at the polls.

Respectfully announced to the public.