The Dimensions of the Unending Ruthless Crackdown on Turkey’s Judiciary and Rule of Law
Friday, 17 December 2021
Just recently, The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 ruled that Turkey had acted unlawfully by arresting more than 400 judges and prosecutors after a failed 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Find the court decision here: TURAN AND OTHERS v. TURKEY (coe.int)
Responding to a complaint brought by 427 members of the Turkish judiciary who were arrested after the failed putsch, the court said their detentions were marked by “unlawfulness” and ordered Ankara to pay 5,000 euros in damages to each applicant.
- See Turkey Tribunal’s tweet on ECtHR decision: https://twitter.com/turkey_tribunal/status/1463082516416544772?s=20
Yet again, around the same period of time, Esra Çiçeklidağ, a former judge dismissed from her job by a government decree, was arrested on November 10, 2021 in violation of a Turkish law that requires the postponement of the execution of prison sentences for women who are pregnant or have given birth within the last year and a half.
Çiçeklidağ’s case was brought to light by human rights defender and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu on Thursday. Gergerlioğlu said in a tweet that Çiçeklidağ was sent to Gebze Prison with her 6-month-old baby and 4-year-old son.
“Her husband [a former district governor] was sent to prison the same day after his sentence was upheld [by an appeals court],” Gergerlioğlu said.
Following all this, on December 03, 2021 purge-victim prosecutor İbrahim Gündüz and his wife Nurdan Gündüz, purge-victim clerk, drowned in the Aegean Sea while trying to flee abroad from Erdogan Regime.
İbrahim Gündüz was dismissed and arrested after controversial coup attempt in Turkey, July 2016. He was released after serving 15 months in prison on condition of travel ban and judicial control. He awaited the appeal phase of his conviction (6 years 10 months). He was forced to flee abroad to avoid going back to prison.
- Read more: İbrahim Gündüz – ChannelDraw
Turkey Tribunal had published its final opinion on September 24, 2021 concluding:
“These acts of the Turkish government cannot be viewed as mere isolated occurrences. Rather, in the opinion of the Tribunal, they are to be considered as part of a widespread and systematic attack against any civilian population that has taken place in Turkey at least since July 2016.
- Thus, the Tribunal is of the view that the acts of torture and enforced disappearances committed in Turkey, in applications brought before an appropriate body and subject to the proof of the specific knowledge and intent of the accused, could amount to crimes against humanity.”