PM Yıldırım admits new commission aims to delay ECtHR petitions

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ANKARA, TURKEY - JANUARY 26: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim speaks during a launch ceremony for judicial database project at Bilkent Hotel and Conference Center in Ankara, Turkey on January 26, 2017. AFP

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has admitted that a commission recently established by government decree to investigate lawsuits filed during a state of emergency was actually established to prevent the victims of post-coup violations from taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Government decree No. 685, one of four decrees issued on Jan. 23, formed the “Commission to Investigate State of Emergency Matters” to resolve judicial cases filed against state institutions by those dismissed from state jobs, expelled from schools, retired personnel whose ranks were downgraded and also owners and personnel of closed institutions, associations, trusts, syndicates, federations, confederations and private medical, educational and media institutions, including television stations, newspapers, radio stations, news agencies, magazines and distribution agencies.

With this commission, we created a legal means for objections. We created an objection commission due to the possibility that these cases would be appealed at the ECtHR,” Yıldırım said on Thursday.

Kerem Altıparmak, a human rights lawyer and political science professor at Ankara University, earlier said that the formation of the commission aims to prevent human rights violation cases against the government at the ECtHR.

The commission consist of seven members, five of whom are to be appointed by the Cabinet, while the remaining two will be named by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). According to the decree, the commission will operate for a period of two years.

It means at least 250 cases in a day that have to be handled by the commission. … It is not possible to handle all those cases that quickly and fairly,” Altıparmak said.

The exhaustion of local remedies is necessary for a person to appeal to the ECtHR. (Turkey Purge)

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