01 December 2018 15:18

Application for Selahattin Demirtaş's release dismissed

The application made following the ECtHR’s ruling for Selahattin Demirtaş's release has been dismissed.

Photograph: MA


The application for release made based on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)’s ruling by the lawyers of HDP Co-Chair in the previous period, Selahattin Demirtaş has been dismissed by Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19.

Judgment was passed on his lawyers’ application for release as per the ECtHR’s ruling calling for Demirtaş’s release, citing Articles 5/3 and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The claim for Demirtaş's release was thereby deemed unwarranted on the grounds of “there being firm evidence pointing to the existence of strong suspicion of guilt,” “the accused’s defence being uncompleted,” “judicial control provisions being inadequate” and “the judgment of the Second Chamber of the ECtHR which issued the violation ruling not having finality.”

It was stated in the decision, in which it is pointed out that Demirtaş, whose case involves the joinder of 31 case reports against him, had only submitted a defence on nine of these and that Demirtaş’s examination on the charges in the indictment had not been completed. It was stressed in the ruling, in which a reminder was given of the provision, “scrutiny of the evidence may not be embarked on until the examination stage has finished,” that Demirtaş had not completed his defence despite being afforded adequate opportunity and time.


Additionally, it was stressed in the decision, in which it was argued that the accused had not declared at the hearing that he would adhere to judicial control provisions and judicial control provisions would thus be inadequate, that the judgment of the Second Chamber, which issued the violation ruling in Demirtaş’s favour, did not have finality as opposed to ECtHR rulings and, thus, at the stage reached, it was not of a binding nature on Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19.

Commenting on his Twitter account, one of Demirtaş’s lawyers, Ramazan Demir, indicated that the released claim was denied on the grounds that “the ECtHR ruling had not attained finality.”


Demirtaş voiced his reaction on his Twitter account to the decision whereby his release was denied. He commented: “The court that imagines itself to by trying me in fact clearly said of the first day that it did not recognize things like the law. Well, are we to call those who do not recognize the law a court? I do not know how they will look me in the face on 12 December at the hearing in Ankara. But, let them wait. I’m coming to the hearing. I have things to say.”


Demir commented, “Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19 ordered the continuation of Selahattin Demirtaş’s detention despite the ECtHR ruling. The court said by way of grounds that the ECtHR ruling had yet to attain finality, then drafted a writ to the Ministry of Justice asking if this was so. This disgrace defies description.”

Furthermore, attorney Benan Molu stated that Demirtaş’s non-release was a crime. Molu said, “The local courts, which in the case of Şahin Alpay defied Constitutional Court rulings, have this time flouted an ECtHR decision. There is no need for the ruling to attain finality for an ECtHR “release at once” order to be complied with. A crime is being committed every second he is held in jail despite the ECtHR decision.”


The HDP reacted strongly to Ankara Serious Crime Court’s non-recognition of the ECtHR ruling. The following comments were included in the announcement made with reference to the matter: “The bench convened and failed to implement the ECtHR ruling and ordered the continuation of detention. This is a blatant violation of the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Let us reiterate that the wording “let him be immediately released” in the ECtHR’s Demirtaş ruling is an individual measure and the local court is obliged to implement this ruling in conjunction with Article 90 of the Constitution and Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19 has passed today’s ruling for entirely political reasons and under President Erdoğan and the executive’s pressure. The court bench has ruled, just as over the detentions of Demirtaş and our other parliamentarians, for political and not legal reasons.

Asserting that the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling has not attained finality and also inquiring about this by drafting a writ to the Ministry of Justice are irrational and unlawful acts taken to gain time. It is a manoeuvre made to ensure the ruling on Demirtaş pending at the appeal court is upheld during the time gained.”


Following the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling that it passed concerning their client on 20 November ordering the ending of his detention, the lawyers of HDP Co-Chair in the previous period, Selahattin Demirtaş, issued a statement on the application they made to Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19 where he is being tried. In their statement, the lawyers intimated that a decision would be taken by the court to which they had applied for release following the ECtHR ruling on the forwarding to them of the translation of the ruling by the Ministry of Justice. As such, it was announced that the ruling in question had been forwarded to the court by the Ministry yesterday.


Recalling that Turkey was a member of the Council of Europe, a party to the European Convention on Human Rights and a country that recognizes the ECtHR’s judicial competence, the lawyers declared the following in their statement: “Underlining that, pursuant to Article 46 of the Convention and Article 90/5 of the Constitution, the judicial authorities lack the competence to deliberate on the ruling issued by the ECtHR concerning Mr Demirtaş or to rule to the contrary and any kind of ruling apart from an immediate release order would be unlawful and an abuse of position, we make known to the public that we await Ankara Serious Crime Court No 19’s decision ordering Mr Demirtaş’s immediate release.”

One of Demirtaş's lawyers, Reyhan Yalçındağ, sized up for Mezopotamya Agency discussion over whether the ruling would be implemented and the steps that would be taken for the ruling to be implemented.


Describing Erdoğan's comments as “direct intervention in the judiciary,” Yalçındağ indicated that frequent interventions in the proceedings during trials of opposition and Kurdish politicians was a frequently encountered situation. Concluding that the comments coming from the ruling wing were “comments made forgetting that Turkey is party to the ECHR,”

Yalçındağ described this situation as being “serious.” He said, “Because you are party to the court and it has recognized mandatory judicial competence since 1990 and has accepted the individual application procedure since 1987. The European Convention on Human Rights has been binding on you since 1954.”

Indicating that no reply had been forthcoming from the court to the submissions he had made regarding his client’s release, Yalçındağ commented, “When you stack these comments together at one and the same time, there is a readiness for an initiative. The button is pressed for an initiative.”


Recalling that Turkey had been convicted for the first time under Article 18 of the ECHR over Demirtaş's detention for political motives, Yalçındağ noted, “There is a court ruling declaring all of these violations you’ve got to have been committed for political motives. But when we combine the comments made by the government and those made by the Presidency, you see that this is continuing. It is precisely for this reason that the detention that is both unjust and unlawful is continuing in a pretty arbitrary manner. But, at the same time, since it is being carried out politically and not legally, a fresh application had been placed before the Constitutional Court, as of this week.” (EVRENSEL DAILY)