ECtHR seeks Turkey’s defense in case of jurists jailed over Gülen links

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has requested a statement from Turkey regarding the cases of 256 people including judges and prosecutors who were jailed over links to faith-based Gülen movement, Bold Medya reported on Friday.

The ECtHR noted that these 256 people, including 152 judges and prosecutors, argue that their rights to liberty and security were violated.

The total number of cases for which the European court has requested Turkey’s defense in connection with judges and prosecutors who were removed from office and arrested in the wake of a failed coup of July 15, 2016 has exceeded 1,600 with the latest group.

Following Turkey’s response, the ECtHR is expected to issue a ruling that will serve as a precedent for the many cases brought to the court in connection with the violation of rights of Gülen movement members in Turkey.

The ECtHR had previously ruled that Turkey had violated the rights to liberty and security of Alparslan Altan, a former judge of the country’s Constitutional Court who was jailed immediately after a 2016 coup attempt on grounds of membership in the Gülen movement. The court ordered Turkey to pay the applicant 10,000 euros in damages.

In another previous ruling, the Strasbourg court had said Turkey violated the rights of Hakan Baş, a judge who was jailed on similar charges, ordering Turkey to pay the judge 10,000 euros.

Turkey dismissed some 4,000 judges and prosecutors after the coup attempt, in addition to nearly 140,000 civil servants.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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