Nacho Sanchez-Amor, the European Parliament (EP) Turkey Rapporteur, who held talks with the government and the opposition in Ankara on Wednesday, described the situation in the judiciary in Turkey as “horrible”.
After visiting the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Sanchez-Amor criticised the detention of HDP’s former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and businessman Osman Kavala, who were both arrested with terrorism charges. He also reacted to the sentence given to Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu who has been sentenced to over two-and-a-half years in prison and faces a political ban.
“You never know what could happen in your court,” Sanchez-Amor said at the press conference he held after his meetings. “The situation of lawyers having to hear behind the door what’s happening to their defendants… This is the most boring issue that you have to tackle and this is not about the legal framework; it’s about the practice of some judgement.”
Noting that several people with poor health are in Turkish prisons, Sanchez-Amor defined the political prisoners as “political hostages to be used in the future other cases.”
On 19 October, the European Union (EU) Commission announced its 2021 Turkey report, following on from the recent decision of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers calling for the release of Osman Kavala and Selahattin Demirtaş.