Turkish high court endorses ECHR’s landmark decision on Demirtaş

Turkey’s Court of Cassation reiterated that rulings issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are binding for Turkey, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on Thursday.

The top court’s ruling is based on Article 90 of Turkey’s constitution, which stipulates that international treaties on fundamental rights and freedoms have precedence over local laws in case of contradiction between the two.

The ECHR ruled on Tuesday that Turkey must immediately release jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş as his fundamental civil rights were violated by his prolonged detention.

‘’This person is guilty in the eyes of our nation,” Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said as he slammed the ECHR ruling “not only because of his political duties or statements, but also because he could not distance himself from terrorism. The decision doesn't bind us’’.

“Ignore their shouting. They are trying to cover up their fears and weaknesses. Be brave and stand tall against tyranny, that's what I do. We are in the right, strong and motivated. We will all win together,” Demirtaş said in response to Erdoğan.

"Don’t worry, Turkey is larger than the gang of five", added Demirtaş, alluding to Erdoğan‘s idiosyncratic expression, “The world is bigger than five.”

Demirtaş has been jailed since Nov. 2016, facing a string of terrorism-related charges, which if combined, could exceed 140 years in prison sentences.