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Urge the government to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Although Turkey has not signed or ratified the Rome Statute a series of positive developments provide hope that ICC accession be taken seriously by the Turkish Parliament in 2005.
Recently, an amendment to Article 38 of the Constitution has been adopted that allows for the extradition of Turkish nationals to the ICC. Moreover, Prime Minister Erdogan declared that "Turkey will soon approve the Rome Statute...and will become part of the International Court Convention". Government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice have also stated their support to a prompt ICC ratification.
Being the Rome Statute fully in line with the values and objectives of the European Union, the EU has repeatedly called on Turkey to accede to the ICC Treaty, also in light of the upcoming accession negotiations starting in October 2005.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and its members are calling on Turkey to complete its ratification process as soon as possible. By doing so, Turkey would accept the jurisdiction of the ICC over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, if its national courts were unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute such crimes.
So far, 97 states worldwide including 26 African countries have ratified the Rome Statute. By ratifying the Rome Statute, Turkey will join the international community in the fight against impunity.
Take action now!
Support CICC’s appeal by sending letters by mail or fax urging the government of Turkey to ratify the Rome Statute and implement it into national law.
You might like to use the following letter as a guide.
Send your letter to:
H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Prime Minister of Turkey
Necatibey Cad. 58
Please send via email to: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected].
At a time when the International Criminal Court (ICC) is beginning its important work to end impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes with its first two cases in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, I am writing to urge you to ensure that Turkey supports this new and vital system of international justice by ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (The Rome Statute) as soon as possible.
The Rome Statute, which entered into force on July 1, 2002, provides for the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court which will only act when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so. As of December 31, 2004, a total of 97 states have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute, including all 25 EU Member States, with the exception of the Czech Republic, and all EU associated countries.
I welcome your recent speech before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on October 8, 2004 pledging that: “Turkey will soon approve the Rome Agreement after completing its internal preparations and will become part of the International Court Convention”, and the constitutional amendments adopted in May 2004 in particular amendment to Article 38 with regards to extradition that reads: “Except for obligations required by becoming Party to the Statute for the ICC, no citizen shall be extradited to a foreign country on an account of an offence” (non-official translation from Amnesty International Turkey).
As the Rome Statute is fully in line with the values and objectives of the European Union, the EU has repeatedly called on Turkey to accede to the ICC Treaty, especially in light of the upcoming EU accession negotiations that will start in October 2005.
Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes should be included in your domestic law and defined in a way that is consistent with the Rome Statute and other international law in order to ensure that Turkey can perform its primary role of investigating and prosecuting these crimes. It is also important to draft legislation to provide a legal basis for Turkey’s cooperation with the Court.
I also hope the ratification and implementation of the ICC treaty will be transparent processes that encourage the involvement of members of the general public, civil society organizations and human rights groups in Turkey.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is pleased to note that Turkey has not signed a Bilateral Immunity Agreement (BIA) with the United States. I therefore urge Turkey to continue resisting U.S. demands for blanket immunity from the Court.
I hope that Turkey will take steps towards ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute as soon as possible so that it can act together with the international community in building an effective system of international justice to end impunity for the worst crimes known to humanity.