Complaints against Turkey are piling up on the desks of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). They account for almost one-fourth of all applications received by the Court, whose job is to issue judgements against States accused of human rights abuses and that are members of the Council of Europe.
According to the Court's statistics, there were 15,250 pending applications against Turkey as of December 31, 2021. Complaints against this single country account for 21.5% of all applications received by the ECtHR. The number of pending applications against Turkey increased from 6,031 in 2019 to 7,877 in 2021.
This rise in complaints against Turkish authorities corresponds to a dramatic deterioration of human rights in the country. Many human rights defenders, journalists and politicians, among others, have been the victims of unresolved murders. The cases of Hrant Dink, Musa Anter, and Tahir Elçi are just a few examples of Turkey's failure to conduct effective investigations and prosecutions, leading to nonsuits and impunity for perpetrators, even more so when they are State officials.
Despite the ECtHR's recommendations on retrials, cases are rarely reopened in Turkey. The country's poor performance in complying with the measures ordered by the Court and its failure to provide remedies to victims only add to Turkey's terrible human rights record.
This briefing note is the seventh in a series documenting the collapse of the rule of law in Turkey and is based on the work of OMCT’s partners in Turkey.