Turkey ranks second out of 47 countries in number of cases before ECtHR

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This photo shows an exterior view of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on January 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORIN

Turkey has a total of 9,250 cases pending review by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), ranking second after Russia among the 47 countries subject to its jurisdiction, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

According to the statistics released by the Strasbourg-based court on Wednesday, of the 59,800 complaints against member states, cases involving Turkey represented some 15 percent of the total.

Turkey followed Russia’s 15,050 cases and was followed by Ukraine, which has 8,850 complaints against it.

The number of cases against Turkey has surpassed all 38 European countries at the bottom of the list combined.

In proportion to the countries’ populations, however, Turkey ranked in the middle of the list, with 0.89 cases per 10,000 citizens, significantly lower than several countries in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, yet still above the European average of 0.53.

In 2019 the court found inadmissible or removed from its agenda a total of 4,880 files.

Of the 884 judgments delivered throughout the year, Turkey accounted for 113, in 97 of which the ECtHR found a violation of at least one article of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Most of the decisions were related to the article on freedom of expression. Turkey is the most frequently penalized country due to violations in that area.

Among the 68 ECtHR judgments delivered on the issue of freedom of expression in 2019, 35 were in cases against Turkey. Russia followed with 19 decisions against it.

The ECtHR rejected applications by Turkish nationals who were affected by a massive purge launched by the Turkish government in the wake of a coup attempt in July 2016.

In a move that drew criticism from European jurists as well as human rights groups, the Strasbourg court told Turkish applicants to exhaust “domestic remedies” and to lodge applications with an ad hoc commission established by the government to review individual complaints, which as of December 2019 had approved only 9,600 of the 96,300 it had processed since its establishment in the summer of 2017.

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