Erdoğan slams opposition parties for backing European court’s Demirtaş verdict
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reiterated his criticism of a verdict by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that urges Turkey for the immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş, former co-leader of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), stating that the court’s decision is not in line with its other rulings for other countries.
“In a case related to our country, the ECHR acted against its own legal processes and the decisions it had made in similar trials in countries like Spain and Italy,” Erdoğan said on Dec. 28 after the cabinet meeting.
The Turkish government did not apply the European court’s decision because it was “a double standard decision made with political motives,” he said.
The president also slammed at the opposition parties for backing the ECHR ruling of Demirtaş’s release and for objecting to the government’s decision of not applying the verdict.
“So, if they were authorized, they would immediately release this terrorist supporter, who has the blood of dozens of people,” Erdoğan said.
“Who are they standing behind? According to the indictment, he is responsible for the Oct. 6-8 events which are subject of crimes including the murder of 37 people, 29 attempted murder, 3,777 cases of damage to property, 295 thefts, 15 instances of looting, 308 violation of trespassing, 13 cases of burning the Turkish flag and seven violations of the Law to Protect Atatürk,” Erdoğan said.
The Grand Chamber of the ECHR said on late Dec. 22 that the rights of Demirtaş had been violated under five different categories, including freedom of expression and liberty. It also stressed that Demirtaş’s pretrial detention since November 2016 had sent a dangerous message to the entire population.
Demirtaş, who is charged with terrorism-related offenses, faces a sentence of up to 142 years in prison if convicted of being the leader of a terrorist organization over his actions during protests in 2014 that turned violent and led to the deaths of 37 people.