Minister’s claim of 90 pct compliance rate with ECtHR decisions in Turkey met with skepticism

Turkish Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç’s recent statement that Turkey has a 90 percent compliance rate with judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has been met with skepticism by experts, who argue that the minister is using the data to create a false perception, Turkish Minute reported.

Tunç was responding to criticism that Turkey insistently chooses not to enforce judgments of the Strasbourg court during a Sunday program on pro-government TV channel Kanal 7, saying the claims were “entirely false and baseless.”

“While the execution rate of ECtHR judgments for all member countries is 79.99 percent, our country’s rate is 90 percent,” the minister added.

Speaking to Turkish Minute about the statistics shared by Tunç, Ali Yildiz, a Turkish lawyer based in Brussels, said the minister uses the figures with the intention of manipulation.

Yildiz emphasized that what matters is not only the compensation awarded by the Turkish government in ECtHR decisions but whether judgments are consistently rendered in line with the relevant ECtHR decision in similar cases, adding that Turkey does not always adhere to this principle.

The lawyer also said that Russia’s high non-compliance rate casts a shadow over the situation in Turkey.

Dr. Gökhan Güneş, an expert on international criminal law and a human rights activist, also said on X that the statistics announced by Tunç don’t show the full picture.

According to Güneş, Turkey ranks first among the 46 Council of Europe member states, with 458 cases pending the implementation of ECtHR decisions, despite a compliance rate of 89.59 percent, which puts it in 26th place overall. Furthermore, Turkey also ranks first when it comes to pending “leading cases” that point to structural and systemic problems.

Güneş says 126 such cases are awaiting implementation, indicating ongoing human rights violations in 126 key areas.

The CoE’s Committee of Ministers, in its quarterly meeting December 5-7, addressed Turkey’s non-compliance with ECtHR rulings in the cases of jailed Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala, a prominent Turkish philanthropist and businessman who has been in jail since 2017, and strongly urged the Turkish government to release them.

In the cases of Demirtaş and Kavala, the committee expressed profound regret over their continued detention. The committee recalled the ECtHR’s findings that their detentions lacked sufficient evidence and were in pursuit of ulterior motives.

Turkey also has 23,397 applications pending before the court, corresponding to 34.2 percent of the total and making it the highest case-count country in 2023, according to ECtHR statistics.

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