ECtHR rejects judges nominated by Turkey, deems them ‘insufficient’

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has rejected the list of judge nominees sent by Turkey to the court, deeming the candidates are ‘insufficient.’

According to a report by Hürriyet daily news, the ECtHR has been searching for a name to replace the court’s vice president Işıl Karakaş, a Turkish judge whose term will end next year. The initial list that Turkey sent to the committee responsible for selecting ECtHR judges of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) included several names, including judges Hacı Ali Açıkgül, Fatma Bilim and Yusuf Aksar. However, these names failed to receive the approval of a consulting unit made up of international experts, which told Turkey to prepare a new list.

In order to prevent deadlock, Ankara withdrew the list and chose to suggest new names. The renewed list included Fatma Arslan, a Dutch citizen who works as a lawyer in the Netherlands, Basri Bağcı, a member of the Supreme Court of Appeals who was previously a deputy undersecretary of Turkey’s Justice Ministry, and Ergin Ergül, a deputy undersecretary of the Prime Ministry.

The list was again not approved and the consulting unit told Turkey once again to renew the list, saying the names “lacked the necessary qualifications to be elected an ECtHR judge.” Ankara then chose to send the same list back, and the committee told the General Assembly of PACE to reject the names after interviewing them in Paris on September 29. The judges were therefore unanimously rejected after being found ‘insufficient.’

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