Ombudsman Kräuter visits the second International Ombudsman Symposium in Ankara
In his capacity as Secretary General of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), Austrian Ombudsman Günther Kräuter attended the second International Ombudsman Symposium in Ankara on 21 October 2014.
Only two years after the creation of the Turkish Ombudsman Institution (KDK), international participants from Ombudsman institutions worldwide could witness the young institution’s progress. In this context, Chief Ombudsman, Nihat Ömeroglu, emphasized the need for further amending the law on the Ombudsman institution as well as an increased implementation of the latter – in order to operate more effectively. The high number of received complaints - currently amounting to more than 11.500 - illustrates that the institution is even now fully operating.
The Council of Europe’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Nils Muiznieks, listed conventional- and social media as well as mutual exchange with NGO’s as crucial factors for reaching out to the most vulnerable groups of society. Particularly in times of economic crises, the number of complaints would increase, making the closure of Ombudsman institutions in several European regions a particularly negative and unfortunate development.
In addition to a speech by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr. Mevlüt Cavusoglu, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the symposium’s audience. Further to making statements on the current political situation, Erdogan expressed his support for the recently established Ombudsman institution.
In his speech, IOI Secretary General Kräuter highlighted the importance of international cooperation between Ombudsman institutions and took the opportunity to inform the audience on the IOI’s current and most recent projects. In his closing remarks, he expressed unofficial “pre-congratulations” to the Ombudsman institution that had just recently applied for IOI membership. Taking into account, the IOI Regional President’s statement regarding the institution’s application, the Turkish Ombudsman institution will most likely be welcomed to the IOI family at the IOI Board of Directors meeting in Vienna next week.