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Erdoğan says ECtHR issues politically motivated rulings in cases involving Turkey

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) of having a double standard when it comes to Turkey and issuing politically motivated rulings on applications from the country, the Gazete Duvar news website reported.

“It [the ECtHR] is not fair [in its rulings], it is political. It makes politically motivated rulings when it comes to Turkey but on the other hand makes the opposite decisions when the cases concern France and Germany,” said Erdoğan.

The president’s remarks came at the opening ceremony of the new judicial year at the Supreme Court of Appeals building in Ankara on Thursday.

Rulings from the ECtHR concerning Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş and businessman Osman Kavala, both jailed on politically motivated charges, calling for their immediate release from prison, have angered Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

Turkey has so far failed to implement the court’s rulings concerning Demirtaş and Kavala, prompting the Council of Europe to officially launch an infringement procedure against Turkey in February.

The ECtHR will establish whether Turkey has violated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). If the Strasbourg court rules that Turkey has not fulfilled its obligations under the ECHR, then the Committee of Ministers will decide on sanctions to be imposed on the country.

The council’s infringement procedure against Turkey could last months and possibly years.

Turkey could ultimately lose its voting rights or even be removed from the pan-European rights body it first joined in 1950.

According to 2021 statistics announced by ECtHR President Robert Spano in January, Turkey ranks second, with 15,251 applications pending at the ECtHR, coming after Russia.

As in the previous year, Turkey ranked first among the 47 CoE member states in the number of judgments from the ECtHR concerning violations of freedom of expression in 2021.

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