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Council of Europe prepares disciplinary action against Turkey

Osman Kavala, Turkish businessman [Twitter]
Osman Kavala, Turkish businessman [Twitter]

The Council of Europe has announced that it will launch disciplinary action against Turkey over its continued detention of businessman Osman Kavala.

In a statement released yesterday, the Council said that "Turkey is refusing to abide by the court's final judgment in this case" and that the country will now be subject to "infringement proceedings" and disciplinary action.

The court judgement it referred to was the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ruled in 2019 that the businessman and philanthropist has been unjustly detained and that Ankara should release him.

Turkey has defied the ECHR's ruling, however, with an Istanbul court last week extending Kavala's detention and imprisonment.

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The actions and infringement proceedings the Council of Europe is threatening Ankara with could include measures such as the suspension of Turkey from its voting rights and perhaps even its membership in the Council.

If such action does go ahead, it will be the Council's second case and implementation of the measures after its proceedings against Azerbaijan in 2017.

Kavala, who has been in prison for over four years without being convicted for any crime, is accused of funding nationwide anti-government protests in 2013 and of being involved in the failed coup attempt in 2016.

Although the Council and Western nations condemn Turkey's ongoing detention of Kavala as a human rights violation and an effort to quell political dissent, Turkey insists that it is abiding by the rule of law and that it is an issue for the country's judiciary to decide on.

READ: When silence is the best diplomacy

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Council of EuropeEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsNewsTurkey
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