Turkey’s high court receives 60,000 applications since July 15 coup attempt: Top Judge
AA photoSome 60,000 individual applications have been made to Turkey’s Constitutional Court since the July 15 coup attempt, the court’s president, Zühtü Arslan, said Dec. 19.
A majority of the applicants are believed to be from those affected by governmental measures in a bid to clear state institutions from the sympathizers of the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, accused by the Turkish government of being the mastermind of the coup attempt.
“The number of applications to the Constitutional Court is around 80,000. The workload from 47 countries in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is around 75,000. Some 60,000 of them were made after July 15,” Arslan said.
“We have received an average of 20,000 applications per year and have concluded 80 percent of them. Our aim was to conclude one application in two years. However, the applications made after July 15 has changed our plan,” he added.
The Turkish government launched a massive campaign to arrest members of the Gülen movement and dismiss its sympathizers from state offices in the wake of July 15. Thousands of civil servants have been sacked from their jobs on the grounds of being affiliated to the group.
The Constitutional Court began accepting individual applications in 2012 amid a high number of applications made to the ECHR for the violation of basic rights and freedoms by public institutions.
The ECHR only accepts applications if domestic legal avenues have been fully exhausted, and considers the Constitutional Court as a domestic solution for the applicant, meaning Turkish citizens must first apply to the Constitutional Court to determine whether or not their rights have been breached before applying to the ECHR.