The EU human rights court treats Ankara differently than France or Germany, the Turkish president said
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of acting “political” and “not fair” in its approach to his country. The president made his remarks on Thursday as he took part in the opening session of Turkey’s Supreme Court.
“The ECHR is not fair in its decisions, it is political. It makes political decisions when it comes to Turkey, but, unfortunately, it makes completely different decisions when it comes to France and Germany,” Erdogan stated, without giving any specific examples of this allegedly unfair treatment.
The president’s remarks come shortly after Turkey’s lawyers once again rejected calls for the release of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). On Monday, the legal team representing Ankara told the ECHR that there was no chance of releasing Ocalan, who remains jailed at the maximum-security island prison since his capture with alleged help from the CIA in 1999.
“The Turkish authorities would like to note that conditional release is possible for the convicts who [have been] sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment as a rule. However, exceptionally certain offenses are exempted from this possibility,” the legal team said in its submission.
Ankara has long been at odds with the ECHR over the Ocalan case. Back in 2014, the court ruled Turkey had violated the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment, violating the European Convention on Human Rights by imposing a non-reducible life sentence on Ocalan. Originally sentenced to death for “high treason,” the PKK leader is now serving an “aggravated life sentence” after Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2002.
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