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Emergency rule commission approves 100 job reinstatements out of 6,400

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The State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission, which was established by a decree-law issued on Jan. 23, 2017, announced that it has finalized a total of 6,400 dossiers, ruling for only 100 persons to return to their jobs, Hürriyet reported.

According to the report, the commission has to date rejected 4,316 requests for reinstatement; 1,984 applications are in the preliminary phase, while 100,676 are currently under examination.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency declared after a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

“The commission today ruled to approve 100 [requests for reinstatement] out of 4,416. The 2.2 percent [acceptance] rate is very low. It means many will be busy for years in the justice system, at the Constitutional Court and at the European Court of Human Rights. The commission is sending a message that it is not a hope but a waste of time,” academic Yaman Akdeniz tweeted about the commission’s statement.

“If the commission continues at this rate, it means it will approve a total of 2,000 requests. The rate of success is 2%. If they file, it means that 98,000 people will file in the two administrative courts. This means 49,000 dossiers for each court. I hope they can handle the dossiers in this century,” human rights defender Kerem Altıparmak said on Twitter.

The commission comprises 220 staff members including judges.

İbrahim Kaboğlu, a professor of constitutional law who was fired by a state of emergency decree on Feb. 7, 2017, said last month that the commission established by the government to hear the appeals of people dismissed from their jobs under emergency rule has turned into the “gas chamber” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“The commission will be able to finish handling the applications in seven to eight years. You will get the opportunity to go to court. Some people will die in the meantime, while some will stay. Families and children will become miserable. This is worse than civil death. There are some rules even in the enmity law, but this doesn’t resemble that. The State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission has turned into a kind of gas chamber of the palace [of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and the AKP government. They put you [dismissed people] there,” Kaboğlu told Cumhuriyet in an exclusive interview.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) last year rejected a total of 25,000 applications submitted by Turks who are victims of an immense purge carried out by the Turkish government following the coup attempt in July 2016, demanding the exhaustion of domestic remedies in Turkey first.

A ruling by the ECtHR in June that turned down an application by a fired Turkish teacher on the grounds that he had not yet exhausted all domestic remedies became a precedent for other applications.

The European court referred to the State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission as a means of solution for Gökhan Köksal, a Turkish primary school teacher who had submitted a petition for the court to hear his case.

The idea of the establishment of a commission was proposed to Ankara by Thorbjørn Jagland, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe. Many lawyers have been critical of Jagland for giving the Turkish government the opportunity to play with justice and never close cases.

“Mr. Jagland will be 85 or 90 when this story reaches the ECtHR. We will not be able to even tell him: Did you see what you did,” Altıparmak tweeted concerning Jagland’s response to two dismissed teachers.

The German Bar Association (DAV) asked the ECtHR to ease the legal conditions necessary to accept applications from Turkey.

DAV Chief Ulrich Schellenberg, who criticized the rejection of applications from Turkey, said there was no working state of law in the country and that Turkey could not be compared to other European countries in terms of state of law principles.

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