Germany urges Turkey to implement ECHR judgements

Turkey must “immediately and fully” implement rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), officials from the German Foreign Ministry said in an interview with Deutsche Welle Turkish on Thursday, following Ankara’s announcement of a Human Rights Action Plan.

The ECHR has ruled for the immediate release of Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala and former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, but Turkish courts have refused to comply.

Accusations against journalists, members of the opposition and representatives from civil society, and the fact that they are based on Turkey’s anti-terrorism laws, have reached a concerning level in recent years, the ministry said, calling for Turkey’s action plan to comply with international standards.

Green Party federal deputy Cem Özdemir described the action plan announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was smoke and mirrors.

“Erdoğan can influence the German foreign minister and those wearing rose coloured glasses in the federal government with the tales he tells. However, after the Sept. 26 elections, the baseline for the new government in Berlin for its encounters with Turkey will be concrete and accountable advances in the human rights area that are said to have been taken,” Özdemir said. The Greens deputy also called for the implementation of ECHR rulings.

Özlem Alev Demirel, member of the European Parliament from Germany’s Left Party, called the action plan an “effort to mislead the international community”.

Demirel told DW Turkish that the Turkish government sought to lift political immunities of nine lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) despite the announcement of the Human Rights Action Plan. “What other explanation is there for this other than smoke and mirrors?”

The Left Party deputy pointed to five steps for what she called real change and progress in Turkey: “The release of political prisoners, returning the jobs and statuses of those who lost theirs such as the Academics for Peace, an immediate end to interventions on opposition parties, or against freedom of thought and expression, the re-establishment of the right to organise, democratisation of the judicial system, and inclusion of diverse opinions to the lawmaking process”. &nbsp