Turkey’s track record with the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights, By Lisa Rep­pell

Turkish Review - - CONTENTS - LISA REP­PELL,

The Turk­ish public is no stranger to the rul­ings of the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights. At regular in­ter­vals, the Stras­bourg court hands down a judg­ment suf­fi­ciently salient in the do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal con­text to make head­lines and spark anal­y­sis from so­cial com­men­ta­tors and po­lit­i­cal ac­tors. But what do th­ese judg­ments re­veal about the health of Turkey’s jus­tice sys­tem when they are looked at as part of a con­tin­u­ous nar­ra­tive in­stead of episod­i­cally? As iso­lated events con­densed into head­lines, the judg­ments handed down by the court can seem to shine a spot­light on Turkey’s most sen­si­tive so­ci­etal cleav­ages -- the le­git­i­macy of Turkey’s in­ter­ven­tion in Cyprus, the rights of re­li­gious mi­nori­ties and the reper­cus­sions of decades of vi­o­lence in the Kur­dish southeast to name only a few. Track­ing the pro­gres­sion of Turkey’s re­la­tion­ship with the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights (ECtHR) is also a means for track­ing the devel­op­ment of hu­man rights norms in the coun­try. In­sti­tu­tions and per­cep­tions in Turkey have al­tered to ac­com­mo­date an evolv­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Stras­bourg court. The most re­cent and sig­nif­i­cant al­ter­ation is a 2012 shift to­wards in­creased do­mes­tic re­spon­si­bil­ity for hu­man rights rul­ings by the Turk­ish Con­sti­tu­tional Court (TCC).

This re­port will briefly sketch Turkey’s his­tory with the ECtHR be­fore ex­am­in­ing the im­pli­ca­tions of Turkey’s record at the court and de­tail­ing their com­pli­ance ef­forts. The fi­nal sec­tion will ex­am­ine the still-un­fold­ing im­pli­ca­tions of the 2012 change that en­abled the TCC to rule on in­di­vid­ual hu­man rights ap­pli­ca­tions, look­ing at

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