By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Thursday urged the Council of Europe against interfering in the country's independent judiciary on the case of Osman Kavala.
"In line with the principle of respect for pending judicial proceedings, we call on the Council of Europe to avoid taking further steps (on the Kavala case), which would mean interference in the independent judiciary," said a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
The statement came after the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe said it would refer to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) the question of whether Turkey had executed a previous judgement by the court on Kavala.
"Everyone, and above all the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe should respect and trust in legal proceedings conducted by independent and impartial courts," said the ministry.
It underlined that, as a founding member of the Council of Europe, Turkey is "aware of its responsibilities stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights" and noted that the country had so far executed 3,674 judgments by the court, including 128 this year.
"The Committee of Ministers, which supervises the execution of European Court of Human Rights judgments, has currently a large number of cases on its agenda. We view it as an inconsistent approach to regularly keep the Kavala judgment on the agenda, while there are older judgments concerning variety of issues, which are yet to be executed by other States," said the ministry.
It also added that taking steps against certain countries "based on political considerations rather than legal and equitable criteria" undermines the reputation of Council of Europe.
"If the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe wishes to maintain the effectiveness of the human rights system, it should stop this biased and selective approach and address the execution of ECtHR judgments in an impartial way with respect to all member States," said the statement.
Kavala faced charges over the 2013 Gezi Park protests, a small number of demonstrations in Istanbul that later transformed into nationwide riots which left eight protesters and a police officer dead. He was acquitted of all charges in February 2020, but an appeal court overturned this verdict in January.
He was also accused of involvement in the 2016 defeated coup orchestrated by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in Turkey and was remanded into custody on charges of spying in March.