Turkish court chief to visit ECHR, Council of Europe amid standoff

Zuhtu Arslan, the head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, is to visit the European Court of Human Rights and hold talks with Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg next week.

The announcement of the visit was made by Daniel Holtgen, director of communications at the CofE and spokesperson for Jagland.

The visit comes amid a legal crisis in Turkey caused by the rejection of a Constitutional Court decision by several lower courts to release three journalists interned in jails under the country’s state of emergency. The court had ruled that the long detentions had contravened the journalists’ human rights.

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has jailed thousands of people under a state of emergency following a failed coup in July 2016. Erdoğan says the detentions are necessary because the persons supported terrorist groups and present a threat to national security. His critics say the measures go to far and are designed to quell all opposition to his rule.