The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Tuesday ruled that the pretrial detention of 230 judges and prosecutors after a failed 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was unlawful, holding that Turkey is to pay 5,000 euros in non-pecuniary damages to every applicant.
The ECtHR ruled in the cases Ataman and Others v. Türkiye, Bayram and Others v. Türkiye and Geleş and Others v. Türkiye that the pre-trial detention of the 209 applicants “had not taken place in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law.”
In the case of “Ulusoy and Others v. Türkiye,” the Strasbourg court said the grounds for the 21 applicants’ detention were “not of a nature” to constitute “reasonable suspicion.”
Members of the Turkish judiciary had been arrested after the failed coup as part of a mass crackdown on the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the president blames for the coup attempt. Gülen and the movement deny any involvement.
Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces, were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.