Press Releases | July 13, 2022

TDP Statement on the European Court of Human Rights’ Finding

(Washington, D.C.) — The Turkish Democracy Project has applauded the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which yesterday found that Turkey violated Article 46 §1 of the European Convention by refusing to release the activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala.

The ECtHR previously found that Kavala’s detention was motivated by a desire to silence the political activist and to discourage other human-rights defenders. Following yesterday’s ruling, Turkey has been deemed not only to have violated Osman Kavala’s fundamental freedoms and breached its international obligations, but is on the brink of suspension from the Council of Europe.

The Erdogan regime has systematically attacked human rights and political freedoms. From political opponents imprisoned on trumped up charges, to journalists arrested for “insulting” Erdogan, the regime has chipped away at Turkey’s democratic and civic architecture. International media has also been wrongfully banned from Turkey for refusing to accept restrictive licensing requirements.

Madeleine Joelsen, Executive Director of the Turkish Democracy Project, said:

Since his ascension to power, Erdogan has laid siege to Turkish democracy and the freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. Erdogan’s disdain for the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings is yet another symptom of his autocratic tendencies.

Turkey under Erdogan no longer complies with the values of political liberty, rule of law and individual freedom affirmed in the founding treaty of the Council of Europe. While Turkey belongs in the Council of Europe, Erdogan does not.”