BIANNUAL HIGH-LEVEL PANEL ON THE QUESTION OF THE DEATH PENALTY

Selçuk Özcan 09.03.2015

Mr. President,

The right to life is a prominent component of international human rights law. Hence, it is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as other core human rights conventions.

Turkey, as a founding member of the United Nations and a party to the afore-mentioned human rights conventions, has incorporated the notion of the right to life to the core of its legal system and to its Constitution as a fundamental norm.

As far as the capital punishment is concerned, Turkey undertook to align its legislation with the international norms pertaining to the abolition of death penalty, following a two-decades long moratorium (1984-2004). Finally, Turkey abolished the capital punishment in all circumstances in May 2004.


Throughout and following the process of abolition, Turkey completed the constitutional and legislative amendments and became party to the 6th and 13th Protocols to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe and the 2nd Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


Mr. Chairman,


Global and regional initiatives are essential mechanisms in the advocacy to this end. In this respect, Turkey has been voluntarily contributing to the International Commission against the Death Penalty and it joined the Core Group of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) in 2012.


Another turning point in the global advocacy campaign is the Joint Call for the Abolition of Death Penalty, which was signed by 42 Ministers of Foreign Affairs, including the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, on October 10th, 2013.


The Joint Call attaches special importance to the regional interaction on this matter and I would like to finish my statement citing the passage of the Joint Call on this matter:


“The Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights have acted as catalysts for this regional trend away from the death penalty, and have even allowed it to spread further afield.”


Ithank you Mr. President.

HRC

28TH SESSION

Intervention by Turkey

Atatürk

Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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