A leading human rights body, the Council of Europe (CoE) has launched infringement proceedings against Ankara that could eventually see Turkey’s removal or its membership suspended, Reuters reported.
CoE representatives took the decision underlining member states’ binding obligation to implement the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgments.
ECHR data shows it delivered 3,820 judgments regarding Turkey between 1959 and 2021, the highest of any country.
Besides, the Committee said in September that officials should discuss further steps to be taken if Osman Kavala, a jailed businessman and philanthropist and Selahattin Demirtaş, a Kurdish politician and former MP are not released.
While the consequences are not outlined, Reuters cited experts saying Turkey should not be removed as that would deprive 85 million citizens of a mechanism that has provided restitution for thousands.
“I hope (Turkish) authorities implement the rulings by the ECHR and that we are not completely severed from the Western world,” said Nebahat Akkoc, a prominent women’s rights defender, to Reuters.
The ECHR issued its latest rule to date, on 10 November, adjudging the arrest of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ and 12 other MPs by Turkey in 2016 violated the politicians’ freedom of expression, liberty and security, and the right to free elections. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Tuesday, issuing a €184,600 fine including compensation for non-pecuniary damages.
Following the decision of the ECHR about the release of Osman Kavala, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that he does not recognise the decisions held by ECHR to which he previously applied three times.
Turkey has the largest population among the 46 member states and signed the Convention before many of them.