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Resolution adopted unanimously* by the Governing Council
at its 173rd session (Geneva, 3 October 2003)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Ms. Merve Safa Kavakçi of Turkey, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/173/11(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 171st session (September 2002),

Taking account of the hearing the Committee held with the President of the Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Group on the occasion of the 109th Assembly,

Recalling that Ms. Kavakçi was elected in the April 1999 elections but prevented from taking her oath owing to her wearing a headscarf at the swearing-in ceremony and from carrying out her parliamentary mandate; she was subsequently deprived of her Turkish nationality, for which reason the parliamentary authorities no longer considered her to be a member of the Turkish Parliament; moreover, on 22 June 2001, the Constitutional Court dissolved the party to which she belonged and banned her from political activity for five years; finally a charge of insulting the State has reportedly been brought against her on account of a statement she made in November 2001 on the Al-Jazeerah TV channel; Ms. Kavakçi is currently living in the United States of America and fears that she would be arrested upon her return to Turkey,

Recalling its concern, as expressed in the resolution adopted in September 2002, that Ms. Kavakçi was not only arbitrarily prevented from assuming her mandate and duties as an elected representative of the Turkish people but might also have been deprived of her membership without any valid legal basis and according to a procedure not provided for under Turkish law,

Considering that, at the hearing with the Committee, the President of the Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Group stated that the Turkish Parliament had taken measures to ensure that there could be no recurrence of such a case,

  1. Thanks the President of the Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Group for his cooperation;

  2. Wishes to ascertain whether any charges are still pending against Ms. Kavakçi;

  3. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session to be held on the occasion of the 110th Assembly.

* At the request of the President of the Turkish Inter-Parliamentary Group who pointed to a misunderstanding of a statement he made at the hearing with the Committee held in Geneva, an operative paragraph and the relevant preambular passage was withdrawn from the resolution.

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