Turkey should implement ECHR ruling on Demirtas: MP

A Turkish opposition lawmaker on Thursday urged the judiciary to abide by a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling on Selahattin Demirtas, the former leader of his party.

"The ruling by the ECHR was issued on Dec. 22. Today is Jan. 28 and this ruling hasn’t been implemented yet,” said Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker from the northwestern Kocaleli province.

“What are you waiting for?"

Speaking to reporters, Gergerlioglu said that the ruling should "definitely" be implemented by Turkish courts.

In November 2016, Demirtas and 12 HDP lawmakers were arrested on terrorism-related charges. In September 2018, he was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for spreading terrorist propaganda, leading a terrorist group, and inciting public hatred and hostility.

The ECHR ruled that the arrest violated his freedom of expression and right to participate in elections, depriving Demirtas of his rights to liberty, security, and freedom of choice.

The court also urged Turkey to take measures to release Demirtas, and ruled that Ankara should pay him a total of €60,000 ($73,641) in damages.

Turkey's government accuses the HDP of having links to the terrorist group PKK.

Source: Anadolu Agency