Jailed Kurdish politician Demirtaş says ECHR failed to prevent judicial erosion in Turkey
Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed former leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), said the European Court of Human Rights has failed to prevent severe erosion of Turkish judicial independence and the rule of law, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
“The European Court of Human Rights takes a long time to make decisions and, in the end, even if they rule that there has been a violation (of human rights), it doesn’t produce any practical results,” Demirtaş said in a response to questions from the Financial Times.
The former HDP chairman was arrested on November 4, 2016, along with 12 other HDP parliamentary deputies, on charges of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an outlawed militant group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984.
Despite several court orders to release Demirtaş, both by domestic Turkish courts and the ECHR, he remains behind bars in the high-security prison of Edirne, west of Istanbul.
the ECHR should provide “support” through its decisions to those fighting for human rights, democracy, freedom and judicial independence in Turkey, Demirtaş said.
Icelandic-Italian judge Robert Spano, who has served as president of the ECHR since May, visited Turkey on Sept. 4 where he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before attending an opening ceremony of the Turkish Justice Academy in the capital Ankara. He also received an honorary doctorate by one of the country’s oldest universities, Istanbul University.
The chief justice of Europe’s top court has come under criticism for effectively ignoring the Turkey’s human rights violations and failing to meet with critical media nor human rights organisations targeted by the Turkish government.