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THE ECHR RULES REGARDING ALPAY AND ALTAN’S CASES

It is announced that the European Court of Human Rights has evaluated the applications of the imprisoned journalists Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay. The ECHR has decided that the Turkish Government has “explicitly violated” Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay’s rights. According to Yavuz Baydar’s news at Ahvalnews, the Court made the ruling during the sessions held on February 19-20, and it will be announced within two weeks. Yavuz Baydar claimed that the Turkish judge Ergün Ergül who was assigned by the AKP regime to the ECHR opposed the decision, however, could not change the ruling. Last year Ergül was appointed as a trustee to Koza Altın, a company seized by the Turkish Government. Baydar wrote:  “Following the Court’s decision, at the moment everybody wonders about the reaction of Ankara regarding the situation of the two imprisoned ‘victims’. Yet the legal circumstances of the two prisoners are quite different as Mehmet Altan was sentenced to ‘aggravated life imprisonment” on February 16, while the trial of Şahin Alpay still  continues. The AKP government may choose to drag its feet by arguing that Altan has already been sentenced. However, normally Ankara is obliged to abide by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Şahin Alpay which necessitates his immediate release. Following the scandal that emerged after the Constitutional Court’s decision last year regarding the rights of those two intellectuals, who are defined in the international media as ‘political prisoners”, the decision of the European Court of Human Rights undoubtedly indicates that the relationship between the Turkish Government and the Court will come to a critical point.”

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