Turkey: Erdogan says Kavala case “closed” after life sentence

– The European Court of Human Rights has nothing to do with this, it is over. Because it’s over? Because the verdict has been pronounced. The European Court of Human Rights can convict, but the verdict is and the case will be closed, ”Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the media at Istanbul airport before the official visit to Saudi Arabia began.

Kavala, 64, sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, was sentenced on Sunday to life imprisonment for “attempting to overthrow the government,” citing large-scale anti-government protests in 2013 for which he was charged. Gezi Park in Istanbul.

In December 2019, the European Council Court ruled that Kavala was arrested without sufficient evidence of his crime.

It also stated that the purpose of his arrest and subsequent detention on remand was to silence him and persuade other human rights defenders to refrain from similar actions.

As a member of the Council of Europe, Turkey has an obligation to implement the decisions of this judiciary.

In the same statements at Istanbul airport, Erdogan called for “respect for the verdict handed down by the Turkish judicial authorities” to be demonstrated “both in Turkey and abroad”, citing strong criticism from abroad following the announcement of the talks.

“Other countries have laws, we don’t have laws?” asked Erdogan.

From the point of view of the leader of the Turkish opposition, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, the leader of the People’s Republican Party (CHP, Social Democrats), this is a situation that the country is going through.

“This imaginary court convicted Kavala in a trial in which he should have been acquitted. This is not happening anywhere in the world. But it is happening in our country because the judicial system is not independent,” an opposition politician said on Tuesday.

Ozgur Ozel, the vice president of his party, had declared on Sunday when the verdict was announced that Kavala, like seven other intellectuals sentenced to 18 years in prison, should be “free” and that “history condemns Erdogan.” . which you have to pay ”.

As a result of these statements, Erdogan’s attorney will initiate lawsuits against the CHP leader, the president himself announced today.

“As a deputy [Ozel] it may not be a criminal matter, but you must at least pay compensation for moral damages. And it’s not the only one, Erdogan said.

“All those who do the same, people with malice, our lawyers will sue them all. Some have immunity, others do not. Those who do not may be subject to immediate criminal proceedings,” the Turkish head of state added.

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