Council of Europe head points to Turkish commission for judicial review over dismissals

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 27.06.2017 23:46

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said on Monday that the establishment of the State of Emergency Procedural Investigation Commission provides a chance for judicial review for public servants who were dismissed from their duty for being accused of having links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) after the failed July 15 coup attempt.

Responding to questions from members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in the parliamentary assembly session, Jagland stated that with the setting up of the new commission, time had been saved for all those imprisoned or dismissed in the judicial process.

In June, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) denied the application of Gökhan Köksal, a teacher who was dismissed from his job for suspected membership in the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), rejecting his application in a decision that requires him to first apply to the State of Emergency Investigation Commission for the purposes of exhausting all primary domestic avenues prior to contacting the ECtHR. "The European court ruled that Köksal must challenge his dismissal before the commission set up under Legislative Decree no. 685. The court dismissed the application for failure to exhaust domestic remedies, finding that Köksal had to use the remedy provided for under Legislative Decree no. 685," a statement published by the court said.

The statement added that "as Mr Köksal had complained of a violation of his Convention rights as a result of his dismissal, he should have used that remedy in accordance with Article 35 - 1 of the Convention. The application was thus dismissed for failure to exhaust domestic remedies pursuant to Article 35 - 1 and 4 of the Convention."

The ECtHR's decision is final and the verdict is expected to set a precedent for similar cases. There are currently more than 3.4 million civil servants in Turkey and, since last year's July 15 failed coup attempt, around 100,000 - approximately 3 percent of all civil servants - have been dismissed for being suspected members of FETÖ, the cult that the Turkish government holds responsible for the failed coup attempt.

On Jan. 23, the State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission was established to evaluate and make decisions regarding applications related to operations made under the state of emergency decree laws. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced on May 16 that members of the State of Emergency Decrees Investigation Commission were appointed, stressing that more than 20,000 people have been returned to their posts after their complaints about suspension were evaluated and they were found to have been wrongly dismissed.

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