European Court of Human Rights failed to meet Turkey’s expectations in Kavala case: Ankara

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The decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the Osman Kavala case did not meet Turkey’s expectations, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“The European Court of Human Rights has unfortunately failed to live up to our expectations with the decision announced today (11 July 2022) and has once again called into question the credibility of the European human rights system. man,” Tanju Bilgiç, a ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

In a statement, the European Court of Human Rights said on Monday: “Turkey has failed to fulfill its obligation under Article 46, Section 1, to comply with the judgment delivered on December 10, 2019. , which called on the government to end the applicant’s detention and secure his immediate release.”

Recalling that Turkey expects the ECHR to assess the case “on a fair basis and not to act as a court of first instance”, Bilgiç said: “We expect the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which will follow the process in the next stage, to put aside its previous biased and selective approach, act with common sense and avoid attempts by certain quarters to politicize the issue.”

“Our communication with the CoE (Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe) continued throughout the process. Information was regularly provided by the Ministry of Justice on the progress of the legal proceedings concerning the applicant Furthermore, regarding his detention, the ECtHR and the Committee of Ministers of the CoE have also been informed of the conviction of the applicant following the internal procedure,” Bilgiç added.

Kavala faced charges for the Gezi Park protests in 2013, a small number of protests in Istanbul, Turkey, which later escalated into nationwide riots that left eight protesters and one policeman dead.

Europe’s highest court said on Monday that Turkey had failed to respect its ruling that Kavala should be immediately released from prison.

The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled in 2019 that Turkey had violated Kavala’s right to liberty, saying its detention and trial against him had been used to silence him and actually send a chilling message to society. civilian in Turkey. The judgment to release him immediately became final in May 2020.

The Council of Europe has launched infringement procedures against Turkey for refusing to comply with its decision. Monday’s decision is the latest step in a long infringement procedure initiated by the Council of Europe, the continent’s leading human rights organisation, and could result in the suspension of the right to vote or the Turkey’s membership in the 47-nation organization.

“Turkey must urgently make concrete and sustained progress in respecting fundamental rights,” said a statement from the European Union. “Turkey’s continued refusal to implement these rulings heightens EU concerns about the Turkish judicial system’s compliance with international and European standards.”

The businessman was sentenced to life in prison without parole in April after the court found him guilty of trying to overthrow the government with the mass protests in 2013. Seven other people were sentenced and imprisoned for allegedly aiding the attempt. Kavala claimed his innocence.

The verdict came after another court acquitted Kavala in February 2020. He was due to be released from prison where he had been held since October 2017 on remand, but was instead rearrested on other charges. . The European Court said the new charges contained no material facts.

Monday’s decision also ordered Turkey to pay Kavala 7,500 euros ($7,600).

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Kavala of being the “Turkish branch” of US billionaire businessman George Soros, who the Turkish leader says has been behind insurgencies in many countries. He threatened to expel Western envoys for interfering in Turkey’s internal affairs.

The embassies of Ankara’s Western allies, including the United States and Germany, echoed the ECHR’s call for Kavala’s release last year.

Ankara nearly expelled envoys from 10 Western countries, including the United States and major European powers, after calling for Kavala’s release last October.

The Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of these countries, accusing them of interfering with Turkish justice, while Erdoğan announced that he had instructed Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to declare the 10 ambassadors persona non grata. However, the embassies took a step back, preventing the crisis from deepening further.

The diplomatic row was resolved after the United States and several other countries issued statements saying they abided by the United Nations convention requiring diplomats not to interfere in the internal affairs of the host country.

Erdoğan also dismissed the infringement procedure, saying Turkey would not “recognize those who do not recognize our courts”.

Turkey urged the Council of Europe not to interfere in the country’s independent judiciary and to be impartial towards the country in response to the ruling on the Kavala case.

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