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Opposition says Turkey is bound by European rights court ruling on Demirtaş case

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Following the refusal of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to abide by a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling ordering the release of jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, Turkey’s opposition insisted that Turkey is bound by the decision of Europe’s top human rights court.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu stated that Turkey must abide by the ECtHR verdict if the rule of law exists in the country after the court’s decision on Tuesday. The CHP chairman added that Turkey either obeys ECtHR  judgments or pays compensation. “I wish Turkey’s Constitutional Court had rendered this verdict and decided if there was injustice in this case,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the Habertürk daily.

Temel Karamollaoğlu, chairman of the Felicity Party (SP), also urged Turkey to pay attention to the ECtHR court ruling as the prestige of countries is measured by such criteria abroad. “You might not obey the ruling, but it would mean the rule of law does not work in Turkey, and nobody will forget that,” he said.

Karamollaoğlu also brought up the fact that Erdoğan himself had applied to the ECtHR in the past when his political rights and freedoms were violated. “But today he says he does not recognize the ECtHR ruling.”

A representative from the Good (İYİ) Party, Cihan Paçacı, also told reporters that Turkey is party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and in the event of refusal to observe the court’s verdicts, European Union countries would impose pressure on Turkey. “There is nothing else to say beyond this,” he said.

Erdoğan said on Wednesday that the ECtHR ruling amounts to supporting terrorism in his latest remarks on the court’s ruling that found Demirtaş’s imprisonment unlawful.

The Turkish government has accused the Kurdish leader of disseminating terrorist propaganda on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

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