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In its judgement dated November 20, 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) stated that Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) former Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş was arrested for political reasons, ruling that all necessary measures shall be adopted to put an end to the pre-trial detention of Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been behind bars since November 4, 2016.
Shortly after the pronouncement of the judgement, the attorneys of Demirtaş submitted a petition referring to the judgement of the court and requested that Selahattin Demirtaş be immediately released.
Politicians also made statements regarding the ruling, including President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
At the weekly group meeting of his party, Erdoğan commented on the judgement by saying: "The judgements of the ECtHR are no concern of ours. We will make our counter-move and close the deal", implying that the judgements of the court are not binding for Turkey.
In fact, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself appealed to the European Court of Human Rights three times before with the demand that the obstacles preventing him from engaging in politics be removed.
His first application was in 1999
The first application submitted to the ECtHR by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in the year 1999. After the sentence, which was given to him due to a speech that he made in 1997, was upheld, Erdoğan appealed to the ECtHR, stating that his right to a fair trial had been violated.
After completing his term in prison, Erdoğan applied to the courts in Turkey, requesting that his criminal record be erased so that he could enter elections as an MP candidate. When his applications remained inconclusive, he appealed to the ECtHR for the second time.
He withdrew previous applications in 2003
It was in September 2002 that Erdoğan appealed to the ECtHR for the third and last time. After the Supreme Election Council (YSK) ruled that he was not eligible to be an MP, he appealed to the court by stating, "We will use our right to seek justice to the last possible point."
After being elected as Prime Minister in 2003, Erdoğan withdrew all of his previous applications to the ECtHR.
Erdoğan: You will see, we will go to ECtHR
During the diplomatic crisis with the Netherlands in 2017, President Erdoğan announced that they would submit an application to the ECtHR.
In his speech dated March 13, 2017, Erdoğan said, "They do not recognize the law. They refer to the international law when it is for their benefit. Didn't we go through this at the ECtHR? Now, you will see. We will go to ECtHR." (EMK/SD)
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