ECHR judge’s brother elected to Turkey’s ruling AKP’s top body

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Cüneyt Yüksel, brother of Saadet Yüksel who was elected as a judge for the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2019, has been voted in to the Central Decision and Executive Board of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Yüksels have been on the public’s eye over a photo they took in September, when the president of the ECHR Róbert Spanó met with Mahmut Demirtaş, the government-appointed replacement for the mayor of Mardin during his visit to Turkey.

Spanó meeting with the appointed government proxy was widely criticised by Turkey’s human rights circles.

In the Kurdish-majority provinces in eastern and southeastern Anatolia and their smaller municipalities, mayors elected from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were ousted by the Turkish Interior Ministry shortly after the local elections in March 2019. The government appointed proxies to fill their seats, often from among district governors.

Since the elections, HDP mayors have lost their seats in at least 51 province and district municipalities, while many of them have faced arrest over charges of terrorism.

Cüneyt Yüksel is a former AKP deputy from the southeastern Mardin province. After graduating from Istanbul University’s Faculty of Law, he continued his scholarship in Stanford and Harvard and has taught in universities in the United States and Turkey. He was elected to parliament in 2007 and has worked in several branches of the AKP.

Source: Ahval

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