Lengthy detentions Turkey’s biggest problem, ECtHR judge says

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Işıl Karakaş, the Turkish judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), has said prolonged detentions are the most serious issue Turkey is faced with at the European court, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Tuesday.

She said the problem is caused by the fact that indictments are not prepared speedily enough.

Karakaş, whose tenure ends in June, spoke to DW to present her assessment of the 11 years she spent at the European court.

With regard to issues of free speech and press freedom, she claimed that the Turkish courts shy away from interpreting cases according to ECtHR jurisprudence.

She said Turkey’s most significant achievement over the last 11 years was the right to file individual applications with the Constitutional Court, underlining that the ECtHR still views it as an effective domestic remedy.

Karakaş added that the ECtHR finds it “acceptable” that the Turkish Constitutional Court has fallen behind with individual applications after a 2016 failed coup attempt as it confronts an “extraordinary situation.”

“It seems impossible for an international court to respond to so many applications. What’s important for the ECtHR for now is the settlement of these problems within domestic law,” Karakaş said. “Of course, domestically doesn’t mean that they can be handled in any way whatsoever. You have to come up with solutions that are in line with ECtHR case law.”

Next month Karakaş will leave her seat on the bench, which she has occupied since May 2008, and will be replaced by Saadet Yüksel.

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