Several times in the past 10 years, Turkey has indicated that it will join the ICC. But to this day, it has made little progress. That’s why this month we’re calling on Turkey to back up its stated commitment to international justice by acceding to the ICC Rome Statute.
Turkey is the focus of our Campaign for Global Justice for September 2014.
Günal Kurşun, president of the Human Rights Agenda Association, member of the Turkish National Coalition for the ICC:
“The Turkish National Coalition for the ICC calls on the new government to honor its commitments to promote and practice the rule of law and join the fight against impunity at home and abroad. I trust that Turkey will see progress regarding both the Kurdish and Cyprus issues in the coming year—joining the ICC would be a great contribution towards these goals.”
At a time when Turkey is seeking to bolster its position on the world stage and further contribute to international peace and security, joining the ICC would signal its commitment to those ends.
Turkey is currently seeking election to the UN Security Council for 2015-2016. The other two countries contesting the seat are New Zealand and Spain—both members and staunch supporters of the ICC. By taking concrete steps to join the Court, Turkey can show its commitment to justice and improve its bid for a seat on the Council.
Virginie Amato, the Coalition’s senior advocacy and programme officer for Europe:
“If Turkey wants to further contribute to international peace and security as a Security Council member and strengthen its role as a key international player, it should signal its resolve to end impunity for the most serious crimes around the world by joining the ICC. Should the new government advance towards ICC membership before the Security Council elections, it would show that Turkey shares the commitment to justice and the rule of law through the Rome Statute system held by almost two-thirds of the world’s nations.”
Earlier this week, we sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, reminding him that Turkey has made several pledges regarding its plans to join the ICC and urging him to follow through without delay.
Past pledges to join the ICC made by Turkey include:
- In October 2004, following changes to the constitution, then Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that Turkey had completed all domestic legal preparations and would ratify the Rome Statute in the near future.
- In December 2008, as part of the process of joining the European Union (EU), the government approved its third national program for adopting EU law, which included a reference to completing the work necessary for Turkey to join the ICC.
- In May 2010 at the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review, Turkey accepted several recommendations that it join the ICC.
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