ECHR notifies Turkey of over 540 applications on detained judges, prosecutors

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Monday notified Turkey of 546 applications relating to the provisional detention of judges and prosecutors following the country’s July 2016 coup attempt, whose appeals to be released have been dismissed by Turkish courts.

All 546 applicants are members of the national legal service who were suspended from their duties by the Turkish Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) on terror links, the ECHR press release said.

The judges and prosecutors are accused of membership in the Gülen movement, which Ankara designates a terrorist organisation and accuses of orchestrating the July 15, 2016 coup attempt to topple the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

An estimated 1,546 lawyers have been prosecuted, including 274 who have been convicted of membership of a terrorist organisation, namely the Gülen movement, and around 500 lawyers under arrest and awaiting trial, according to an EU report published last month. 

The judges and prosecutors in question were ‘’detained in custody and then brought before justices of the peace, who ordered their placement and later their maintenance in provisional detention,’’ the statement said, adding that appeals by the applications against those decisions were dismissed.

Highlighting that the applicants then lodged individual appeals, which the Turkish Constitutional Court declared inadmissible, the statement noted that criminal proceedings against them are still ongoing.

‘’The applicants relied, in particular on Article 5 (right to liberty and security), as well as other articles of the Convention,’’ it said.

Ankara maintains the Gülen movement was behind the failed putsch and a long-running scheme to overthrow Erdoğan by infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Over 77,000 people accused of links to the group have been arrested and another 150,000 public employees suspended or sacked as part of a world-wide crackdown on the group by the Turkish government following the failed coup attempt.{%22itemid%22:[%22003-6421422-8438835%22