CHP to Erdoğan: ‘What he wants is to make Turkey a tribal state’

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has slammed President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his statement that he will not recognize the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgment on businessperson and rights advocate Osman Kavala, who has been jailed in Turkey for over four years.

CHP Mersin MP Alpay Antmen has defined Erdoğan’s remarks as an attempt to “push Turkey from Europe to the quagmire of the Middle East.”

He has said, “Turkey accepted the ECtHR’s jurisdiction in 1989. So, the ECtHR is a domestic court. The Palace and the AKP Chair Tayyip Erdoğan are now acting contrary to the Constitution.”

Recalling that a sentence was added to Article 90 of the Constitution in 2004, Antmen has added, “Here, it has been confirmed that when the law conflicts with the international law, the final decision is to be handed down by the ECtHR. This is now a domestic legal rule.”

The sentence added to Article 90 (Ratification of international treaties) of the Constitution on May 7, 2004 reads as follows: “In the case of a conflict between international agreements, duly put into effect, concerning fundamental rights and freedoms and the laws due to differences in provisions on the same matter, the provisions of international agreements shall prevail.”

Against this backdrop, Antmen has stressed that all citizens of the Republic of Turkey are obliged to abide by the ECtHR rulings:

Saying that you do not recognize the ECtHR’s judgment means trying to bring it into line. You cannot say, ‘I don’t recognize it’ when the court does not hand down a judgment that you like. What the AKP and Erdoğan want is that Turkey be kicked out of the Council of Europe; they want to make the country a quagmire of the Middle East, a tribal state.

What happened?

On February 2, 2022, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe officially brought infringement proceedings against Turkey on the grounds of its failure to release Osman Kavala, the only arrested defendant of the Gezi trial, despite the ECtHR ruling. Sending the file to the ECtHR in line with this decision, the Committee of Ministers requested that the high court determine whether Turkey violated the European Convention on Human Rights.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey argued that the ongoing legal process in the domestic law was disregarded. In the face of an ECtHR ruling defining Osman Kavala’s imprisonment with “political motives”, the Foreign Ministry indicated that the decision to bring infringement proceedings against Turkey was given with “political motives.”

As for Erdoğan, he said, “What the ECtHR said, what the Council of Europe said… It does not concern us. We expect our own courts to be respected.” (HA/SD)


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