European Court rejects Turkish judge's case
Human rights court says judge arrested over suspected links to FETO has not exhausted domestic courts
The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ruled against a Turkish judge’s claim that her arrest and imprisonment following the July 15 coup attempt breached European law.
Zeynep Mercan, a judge from Giresun, a city on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, was accused of links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), said to have orchestrated the attempted coup in which 246 people were martyred.
She lodged a case with the Strasbourg-based court to say her arrest and detention had breached European Convention on Human Rights articles on the prohibition of torture, the right to liberty and security and the right to a fair trial.
However, the court ruled her case inadmissible as she had not exhausted the appeals system in Turkey.
“The court rejected the plaintiff’s complaint concerning the conditions of detention and held that the domestic remedies had not been exhausted, given that the applicant had not submitted this complaint to the domestic authorities,” the panel of judges said.
The court dismissed the complaint concerning the right to a fair trial, saying it was “premature” at this stage and inadmissable.
Mercan was arrested on July 17 and was among 2,900 judges dismissed from their posts the day before.
Her complaint was lodged with the European court on Sept. 2, around three weeks after it was rejected by a Turkish court in Ordu province.
Tens of thousands of judges, prosecutors, police, military personnel, teachers, journalists and others have been arrested since the failed coup on suspicion of links to FETO, which is said to be behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions.