Turkey's disregard for human rights has become even more reckless recently, and European states should start sanctioning Ankara, Amnesty International Regional Director for Europe Nils Muiznieks said in an article, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on March 10.
"Political oppression is on the rise," Muiznieks said in his letter about Turkey, noting the prematurely imprisoned journalists, human rights activists, protesters and social media users in the country.
Muiznieks' article also slammed Ankara's recent rebuttals to rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The ECHR's most recent ruling about Turkey said that Ankara's continued imprisonment of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş was an attempt to silence diverse voices in society, Muiznieks noted.
"In short, the court ruled that this was a case of oppression. Turkis officials seem more than willing to do whatever it takes to keep Demirtaş in prison as the elections are looming."
The Turkish authorities seem willing to do anything to avoid releasing Demirtaş and human rights activist Osman Kavala, Muiznieks said, adding that concrete steps need to be taken to mobilize Ankara.
Muiznieks suggested that Turkish officials who violated human rights should be sanctioned, that the European Council should launch an investigation into the country's disregard of ECHR rulings, and that financial sanctions could be used as incentives.