Euro court drops 12,600 applications from Turkey, cites formation of emergency rule panel

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has dropped a total of 12,600 applications from Turkey that were filed regarding the state of emergency decrees, the Turkish Justice Ministry said on July 14.

The Council of Europe had been concerned about the risk of the increasing number of appeals at the ECHR, so the Euro court cited the formation of the State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission, founded to receive objections to the state of emergency rulings.

Turkey declared a state of emergency after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. The government has been issuing emergency decrees that led to the suspensions or dismissals of thousands of people ever since.

Turkey ruled the establishment of the commission with a decree issued on Jan. 23. The formation of the commission was seen as a bid to ease criticism from European institutions. The applications are expected to focus especially on removals or dismissals from public service and educational institutions, as well as the closure of organizations.

According to the Justice Ministry, the ECHR has accepted the state of emergency commission as a legal domestic way in a case that sets a precedent regarding similar cases. The Euro court, thus, dropped the applications based on the aforementioned decision, saying that legal domestic ways had not been exhausted.

“While the number of applications waiting in front of the ECHR against our country was 24,600 on May 31, it decreased to 12,000 by June 30. Further decreases are expected to take place with rulings that will be issued in similar cases,” the ministry said.

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