Turkey slams UN Rapporteurs remarks on Irish citizens


Turkey criticized UN Special Rapporteurs on Saturday for providing “inaccurate” and “groundless claims” in a press release regarding an Irish citizen and her child.

At issue is UN human rights experts who urged Turkey to ensure the safety and security of Ms. Lisa Smith and her infant child, and said in a statement the Irish nationals were “transferred to Turkish custody following the bombing of Ain Issa displacement camp in northeast Syria in recent weeks.”

Expressing concern that Ms. Smith may face ill-treatment in custody, the experts “strongly recommend she is given consular assistance and that she and her infant daughter are protected against any abuse while detained.”

Ankara lived up to the conditions laid out by the UN human rights experts.

“The Irish authorities, indeed, emphasize the importance they attach to the positive and the confidential course of this ongoing cooperation,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement. “It is understood that the UN Special Rapporteurs do not have any concerns when it comes to paying equal attention,” he said.

“The Irish woman and her child were rapidly returned to their country under safe and humane conditions. The process has been handled attentively and delicately so far, due to the various aspects of the issue, particularly the non-violation of the privacy of the mother and child and security.”

Highlighting Turkey’s close and intense efforts are being carried out with the Irish authorities, Aksoy said: “[Rapporteurs] have seen no harm in damaging our efforts through issuing a press release full of inaccurate information and groundless claims, without waiting to receive any information from the relevant countries on the issue.”

Touching upon humanitarian tragedies in war-torn Syria, he said: “Turkey, while taking measures against the security threats emerging in the region on one hand, does its utmost to extend support to the victims – particularly women and children- of the inhumane conditions on the other.”

Commenting on the Special Rapporteurs’ attitude, he said: “The press release, which seriously undermined the role and the trustworthiness of the UN Special Rapporteurs in the protection of human rights, also contradicted the cooperative spirit we have shared with the Special Rapporteurs until today.

“We expect from the Special Rapporteurs to correct this mistake in a manner that would benefit the mother and child in the first place; and to avoid such mistakes which would cause us to revise our will to cooperate,” he added.

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