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02/03/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – In early February 2022, the Council of Europe launched disciplinary proceedings against Turkey for its failure to abide by the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and released Osman Kavala. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying that the country will not respect the Council of Europe if there is no mutual respect for the Turkish courts.

Erdogan commented, What the ECHR has said, what the Council of Europe says, this doesn’t concern us much because we expect our courts to be respected. To those who don’t show this respect: excuse us, but we will have no respect for them either.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry reacted in a written statement saying, “It is obvious that this biased decision taken with political motives, disregarding the ongoing court case process in domestic law, has damaged the reputation of the European human rights system. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the Council of Europe human rights system, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe must abandon its partisan and selective approach.”

Osman Kavala, a Turkish philanthropist and activist has been imprisoned for more than four years. The ECHR ruled two years ago for Kavala to be released, and to date, courts have failed to comply. Kavala has remained imprisoned on allegations of his involvement in the 2013 Gezi Park protests and the 2016 coup attempt. After Kavala’s January 17 hearing, Turkey ignored the calls of the international community and extended his detention until February 13.

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