Turkey’s top court examines pilot case on post-coup complaint

Turkey’s top court examines pilot case on post-coup complaint

Oya Armutçu - ANKARA
Turkey’s top court examines pilot case on post-coup complaint The second section of the Constitutional Court (AYM) has examined the first individual application about the July 2016 coup attempt, referring it to the top court’s general assembly.

The final ruling of the general assembly is expected to set a precedent for thousands of other applications which were made based on complaints about long and unlawful detention periods in the wake of the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.

A large number of individual applications were made to the AYM regarding allegations that the right to freedom and security of individuals was violated because the arrest warrants issued under investigations linked to the coup attempt lacked any legal basis, the detention periods exceeded a reasonable amount of time, access to the investigation files was restricted and investigations on detentions were conducted without any hearings.

The 15-member general assembly of the top court will assess the application and decide if there has been any violation of constitutional rights within the case of the individual application in question.

AYM head Zühtü Arslan said on April 25 that the AYM currently has over 100,000 individual applications to address.

Underlining that over 75 percent of the applications consist of post-coup complaints, Arslan said the court had taken extra measures to meet the exhausting workload.

As such, the top court has registered and classified the applications and commenced a process to settle the cases, which have been classified based on their subjects.

He said that after the preliminary files have been settled, they would aim “to settle the applications on the arrest measures within a reasonable amount of time.”

As the case is a preliminary case, it will form a precedent for applications made on the subject.

The top court began accepting individual applications in 2012 amid a high number of applications made to the ECHR for violations of basic rights and freedoms by public institutions. The Constitutional Court, however, has previously ruled that the governmental decrees in the state of the emergency rule were not within its jurisdiction.

The decision has been interpreted as an attempt to block individual applications to the ECHR since the court only accepts applications if all domestic legal avenues have been fully exhausted, yet the top Turkish court’s refusal to hear such cases means the legal processes within Turkey remain in limbo.