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Türkiye: European Court of Justice again agrees with Demirtas


Meetings of the Turkish opposition leader Demirtas have been wrongly monitored. The European Court of Human Rights has now decided. His release was ordered as early as 2020 – but has not been implemented to date.

The Human Rights Court in Strasbourg had already ruled in 2020: Selahattin Demirtas must be released. However, Turkey is not implementing the ruling, although the country is legally obliged to do so.

The lawyer Demirtas, who comes from a Kurdish family, was arrested in 2016. At the time, he was seen as a figure of hope for the opposition. His appearances during the 2015 election campaign are unforgettable, and he countered Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s media presence with calm charisma. Sometimes Demirtas would simply play a song on a traditional lute and be successful. His HDP was the first Kurdish party to enter parliament.

Erdogan does not want to release Demirtas

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has now upheld Demirtas again. The Turkish prison authorities had wrongly monitored Demirtas’ meetings with his lawyers. They would have violated a fundamental right – the right to defend themselves against imprisonment.

Erdogan had already defamed Demirtas as a “terrorist” during the presidential election campaign. Immediately after his election victory, Erdogan then announced that as long as he was in power, Demirtas would not be released.