Turkey delays decision on international court

Turkey will consider whether to ratify the International Criminal Court (ICC) statute after an ICC review conference in 2010, according to the text of a presentation by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday.
The issue of Turkish ratification came to the fore before an Islamic summit in Istanbul earlier this month because Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the ICC, was expected to attend.
Bashir, indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region, abandoned his plans to attend the summit. Mainly Muslim Turkey, which is seeking EU membership, had come under pressure from Brussels to drop Bashir from the guest list.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in 2004 that Turkey would soon become a party to the ICC, but it has yet to do so.
“Preparations to become a member of the ICC are continuing. But it is clear that it may take time for us to join the ICC,” a text of Davutoglu’s presentation to a Turkish parliamentary commission said.
“It is thought necessary to observe the trends emerging from the ICC review conference in Uganda in May 2010 and make a new assessment on whether our country will become a member of the ICC,” the booklet on the presentation said.
The United Nations says as many as 300 000 people have been killed since conflict erupted in Darfur in 2003, though Sudan rejects that figure, saying far fewer have died.

Pic: President Omar Hassan al -Bashir of Sudan