HC Deb 05 February 1998 vol 305 c751W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what position Her Majesty's Government's representative to the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers will adopt on human rights in Turkey with particular reference to Turkish parliamentarians who are imprisoned, when the Committee of Ministers next meets. [27407]

Mr. Doug Henderson

Our representative at the Council of Europe Ministerial meeting in May will adopt the same approach to the issue of human rights in Turkey as the government has consistently maintained to date. We remain concerned at Turkey's poor human rights record, but believe that legitimate criticism of Turkey's shortcomings must be backed up by constructive assistance.

We have stressed to the Turkish authorities that the imprisonment of democratically elected politicians for the non-violent expression of their views can only damage Turkey's international standing.