The highest number of applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) since August 2022 originated from Turkey, according to the top court’s annual report released on Thursday.
By the end of last year, 26.9 percent of the court’s pending cases were from Turkey.
Most of the applications were related to complaints over arrests, trials and dismissals in the public sector as part of the Turkish government’s measures following the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016, Deutsche Welle reported.
The ECHR found rights violations in 73 of the 80 cases against Turkey that concluded in 2022. The country also became the second-ever to have infringement procedures start against it at the Council of Europe due to Ankara’s refusal to comply with ECHR rulings, particularly in the case of Osman Kavala.
The court in December 2019 ruled that the philanthropist’s imprisonment since 2017 was “politically motivated” and that he must be released immediately. Turkey has refused to comply with the ruling and Kavala has since been sentenced to life in prison.
One of the most popular Kurdish politicians, former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, is also facing imprisonment due to politically motivated accusations, the ECHR found in another case. Turkey has refused to release Demirtaş as well.
In November 2022, the court ruled that Turkey violated the rights of 12 other imprisoned HDP members, including Figen Yüksekdağ, who was co-chair together with Demirtaş.
If Turkey does not reverse course, the infringement proceedings may result in expulsion from the CoE. The only other country to ever face the proceedings was Azerbaijan over the unlawful imprisonment of opposition politician Ilgar Mammadov.