Turkey on Dec. 2 called on the Council of Europe to avoid punishing Turkey ahead of a decision this week on whether Ankara could face rare disciplinary proceedings over the case of a jailed businessman Osman Kavala.
“In line with the principle of respect for pending judicial proceedings, we call on the Council of Europe to avoid taking further steps, which would/mean interference in the independent judiciary,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Everyone, and above all the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe should respect and trust legal proceedings conducted by independent and impartial courts,” it added.
Kavala has been in jail for more than four years, accused of financing the 2013 Gezi protests and playing a role in the 2016 coup attempt.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) earlier ruled on his release.
The rights body’s Committee of Ministers, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of ECHR judgments, began meeting between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a decision on Dec. 2 and notified Turkey of the intention of referring the Kavala case to the ECHR to determine whether Turkey has executed the judgment of Kavala.
The Committee of Ministers has this week considered whether to launch infringement proceedings against Turkey over the failure to release Kavala last month. An Istanbul court ordered Kavala to stay in jail on Nov. 26.
A founding member of the Council of Europe, Turkey is “aware of its responsibilities” stemming from the ECHR, the ministry said and noted that Turkey so far executed 3,674 judgments of the ECHR, 128 of which has been during this year.
“We view it as an inconsistent approach to regularly keep the Kavala judgment on the agenda, while there are older judgments concerning a variety of issues, which are yet to be executed by other states,” said the ministry.
Initiating certain mechanisms available under the ECHR against certain countries “based on political considerations rather than legal and equitable criteria, undermines first and foremost the reputation of Council of Europe,” it added.
If the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe wishes to maintain the effectiveness of the human rights system, “it should stop this biased and selective approach and address the execution of ECHR judgments in an impartial way with respect to all member states,” read the statement.
Hurriyet Daily News