AKP, MHP lawmakers vote down proposal to hold discussion on ECHR rulings in parliament

Lawmakers from the ruling AKP and its junior coalition partner MHP have rejected a proposal calling for a discussion in parliament on the ECHR rulings concerning Turkey. The proposal submitted by the HDP specifically referred to the case of renowned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, who is denied release despite the ECHR ruling.

Duvar English

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on March 3 voted against a proposal to hold a discussion in parliament on problems stemming from Turkey's failure to implement the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings.

The proposal submitted by the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said that Turkey's non-compliance with the ECHR rulings “has damaged the trust in the legal system and this damage has increased the concerns in terms of the objectivity and lawfulness of the ongoing trials.”

The proposal specifically referred to the case of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and the ECHR's ruling on him.

“A step has not been yet taken with regards to the [ECHR] decision's implementation [for Demirtaş]. Therefore, a general meeting needs to be immediately held under the umbrella of parliament,” the proposal said, adding that parliament needs to discuss what kind of consequences Turkey will face in the face of non-compliance with the ECHR rulings.

On Dec. 22, 2020, the ECHR ruled that Turkey must immediately release Demirtaş, saying the justification for his four years in prison was a cover for limiting pluralism and debate.

It said that Demirtaş's pre-trial detention had deprived voters of representation in parliament and sent "a dangerous message" to the entire population.

Although the ECHR rulings are binding, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continued to attack Demirtaş, saying only Turkish courts could rule on his case.