Turkey’s Erdogan to Ignore European Rulings on Kavala, Demirtas
(Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to ignore calls by Europe for the release of jailed businessman Osman Kavala and Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas.
The Council of Europe gave Turkey formal notice that it intends to ask the European Court of Human Rights to rule on whether Ankara has failed to fulfill its legal obligations by not releasing philanthropist and businessman Kavala.
The council reminded Turkey of its obligation to abide by the European court’s earlier ruling calling for Kavala’s release under the European Convention for Human Rights, and invited Ankara to submit its view on the question by Jan. 19.
“We do not recognize decisions taken by the European Union regarding Kavala, Demirtas, this or that. It’s that simple,” Erdogan told reporters in Qatar on Tuesday. “Whether they understand or not. We do not recognize the decision of the European Union above the decision of our judiciary. Whatever they know, let them do it.”
Turkey has been heavily criticized by its traditional western allies for jailing Kavala as well as Demirtas, former leader of the pro-Kurdish HDP party.
ECHR Rules Turkey Must Release Ex-Kurdish Party Leader Demirtas
A Turkish court recently ordered the 64-year-old to remain in jail, where he’s been for more than four years. Kavala is also facing charges of financing and organizing the months-long Gezi Park protests against Erdogan in 2013, charges that saw the Turkish businessman put in jail in 2017.
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