Purge victims to demand effective action from ECtHR on rights violations in Turkey

Thousands of Turkish expatriates in Europe will gather for a demonstration in front of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg on June 20, when they will demand that the court be more vigilant about rights violations in Turkey and take swift action against them.

A similar protest was held in front of the rights court in June 2022 with the attendance of hundreds of victims of a purge carried out by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a failed coup in Turkey in 2016 as well as activists and EU parliamentarians.

The ECtHR is accused by victims of human rights violations in Turkey that increased after the coup attempt, when the government launched a crackdown on non-loyalist citizens under the pretext of an anti-coup fight, of not expeditiously processing applications from victims and in some cases of issuing rulings in favor of the Turkish government.

The protest is being organized by the Peaceful Actions Platform, an umbrella organization comprising 24 civil society groups. The protest will be aired live by MC EU TV and the platform’s YouTube channel.

In a press statement the Peaceful Actions Platform accused the ECtHR of remaining silent in the face of rights violations in Turkey for the past seven years.

During the demonstration the protestors will submit a letter to the court’s president, Síofra O’Leary, in which they will ask the court to help the victims of rights violations in Turkey by swiftly concluding their applications.

Mini concerts by Turkish singers and other activities will take place during the demonstration.

Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

According to a statement from then-Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on July 5, 2022, a total of 332,884 have been detained, while around 101,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup. The minister said there were 19,252 people in Turkey’s prisons at the time who were jailed on alleged links to the movement while 24,000 others were at large.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

Some of these people had to take illegal and risky journeys in boats to Greece because their passports had been revoked by the government.

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