PACE President welcomes referendum result in Turkey
The president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) welcomed on Monday the result of Sunday's referendum in Turkey, Anadolu Agency reported.
PACE President Mevlut Cavusoglu released a statement in which he warmly welcomed the positive result of the referendum on constitutional change in Turkey.
"I warmly welcome the positive result of the referendum on constitutional change in Turkey, as well as the high turnout, which showed how strongly the Turkish people are attached to their democratic rights and freedoms, and to a future in Europe," Cavusoglu said.
Cavusoglu said this marked an important new stage in Turkey's democratic progress, and paved the way for further reforms soon, including a new civilian Constitution.
The possibility for a citizen to bring a complaint directly to the Constitutional Court was particularly welcome, as it provided an additional human rights safeguard, and might help to reduce Turkey's caseload before the European Court of Human Rights, Cavusoglu said.
"Sixty-one years after Turkey joined the Council of Europe, and on the eve of its chairmanship of the organisation, Turkey's attachment to its fundamental values has been made stronger by Sunday's vote," the PACE president also said.
Unofficial results showed that 58 percent of the voters approved constitutional amendments while 42 percent voted against.
The constitutional amendments include measures favouring children, the elderly, the disabled, widows and orphans of martyrs and veterans also measures for the prevention of child abuse and the protect of the child against all forms violence.
The reform package amends arrangements regarding the right to travel abroad which it says may be restricted only during ongoing criminal probes and upon a judge's order.
The amendment would allow membership in more than one labour union it would allow individuals to file complaints and requests for information to a government-appointed ombudsman.
The changes would end the practice of expelling members of parliament whose actions were cited by a court as grounds to ban a political party.
Soldiers discharged by a Supreme Military Council decision would have the right to appeal against such decisions.
Military personnel who allegedly commit crimes against state security and the constitutional order would be tried in in civilian courts instead of military courts. Civilians would not be tried in military courts.
The amendments also include change in structure of Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, as well as the Constitutional Court, country's top judiciary body.
The package abolishes the provisional article 15 of the constitution which does not allow trial of the members of the National Security Council formed after the military coup in 1980, the ban on right to general strike; and paves the way for a citizen to become a member of more than one labor union, and civil servants and other public officials the right to collective bargaining.
It also paves the way for trial of parliament speaker, chief of general staff, and senior commanders by the High Tribunal on charges of crimes they commit regarding their positions.