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Turkey has largest number of cases pending before European rights court

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Approximately 20,100 applications from Turkey are pending before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), making it the highest case-count country since Aug. 1, 2022, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Thursday, citing statistics from the court.

ECtHR President Síofra O’Leary held a press conference on Thursday that was live-streamed on the internet, giving an overview of the court’s activities in 2022 and presenting statistics for the past year.

Turkey, which tops the list of countries with cases awaiting judgment with nearly 20,100 applications, corresponding to 26.9 percent of the total, is followed by the Russian Federation, with around 16,750 applications; Ukraine (10,400); Romania (4,800); and Italy, with approximately 3,550 applications pending.

Turkey has become the highest case-count country, replacing Russia, since Russia was excluded from the Council of Europe in March 2022 due to its war on Ukraine. In September Russia ceased to be a party to the European Convention on Human Rights. ECtHR is reviewing applications from Russia filed before Sept. 16, 2022.

O’Leary said the court ruled on some 39,570 applications throughout 2022. While 70,150 applications were pending at the close of 2021, the figure rose to around 74,650 by the end of 2022, the statistics showed.

In addition, according to the ECtHR’s data on “Violations by Article and by State 2022,” violations were found to have been committed in 73 of the 80 adjudicated cases from Turkey. Among those, 27 involved violations of the right to liberty and security, 16 involved violations of the right to a fair trial and 20 involved violations of the right to protection of property.

The number of friendly settlements in applications from Turkey declined from 43 in 2021 to 10 in 2022, the statistics further showed.

Complaints related to arrests, prosecutions and dismissals in the public sector following a coup attempt in 2016 make up half of the applications against Turkey, DW said.

More than 130,000 public servants were removed from their jobs in a massive purge launched by the Turkish government following the coup attempt on the grounds that they had links to terrorist organizations.

Earlier this month, the court began examining the case of a former teacher in Turkey who was first dismissed from his job and later arrested over alleged links to the Gülen movement after the abortive putsch.

The ruling, expected to be announced by the court later this year, will likely have an impact on the conviction or trial of thousands of people who face terrorism charges due to their links to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the failed coup in 2016 and labeled as a terrorist organization. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the failed putsch or any terrorist activity.

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