The Turkish parliament passed several documents aimed at the implementation of democratic reforms in the country. News agencies pay the biggest attention to the cancellation of the death penalty.
News agencies are paying the biggest attention to the cancellation of the death penalty. This is a very big event for Turkey, for it is an eastern country, where the death penalty is not something outstanding indeed.
This decision was not about humanism on the part of the Turkish politicians. The reason is a lot more trivial: Turkey is paving its way to join the European Union. Ankara has been striving to join the EU for decades, but there no progress has yet been achieved. The countries of Eastern Europe left Turkey behind in this respect, which has caused the indignation of Turkish governmental officials.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, welcomed the decision of the Turkish government to cancel the death penalty. However, this does not at all mean that Turkey is already in the EU. European politicians stressed that Ankara would have to guarantee the implementation of all required documents to obtain a positive decision on the matter.
Today’s news was definitely very good news for Abdullah Ocalan, the Turkish Kurds' guerrilla leader, who was sentenced to death in 1999 (the government did not hurry to execute him). Turkey’s chances of joining European Union are rather slim for the time being, although the country made its first step. There will be many more steps along the way.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969