After review of the application of Mehmet Hasdemir, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011 for various crimes, the ECtHR decided against Turkey, ruling that the longevity of pre and post-trial detention exceeded acceptable limits. Turkey was ordered to pay 11,900 pounds in compensation to Hasdemir upon the decision of the Strasbourg-based court.
The ECtHR has also ruled against Turkey in a second case, similarly citing protracted periods of detention. Hatice Duman, who was jailed on charges of being a member of an illegal leftist organization and is currently being held in Gebze Prison, located in Kocaeli province, applied to the ECtHR with a complaint of lengthy pre-trial detention. According to the court, there is an apparent violation of Duman's human rights. Turkey will pay 10,800 pounds in compensation to Duman.
Meanwhile, the government has embarked on the establishment of a commission to reduce nearly 3,000 cases filed with the ECtHR. Lengthy pre-trial detentions and the running time of trials constitute two primary complaints, pushing Turkey to seek alternative ways to clear cases outside the Strasbourg-based court.
The new commission will serve as an effective domestic remedy for dealing with cases and will ease the burden of the ECtHR.
The ECtHR accepted Ankara's offer earlier this year and will transfer some of the lawsuits filed against Turkey to the new commission. Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said that if following review the commission's performance is regarded as an effective domestic remedy in compliance with the criteria of the ECtHR, then the majority of the 3,000 cases at the Strasbourg-based court will be handled by the commission. The outcome is dependent on the performance of the commission. Once the commission is deemed to comply with ECtHR criteria, the European court will freeze its own oversight of cases where compensation is sought from the Turkish state for long trials and lengthy pre-trial detentions, leaving the task to the commission.
In addition, according to a new reform package prepared by the Ministry of Justice, new regulations will come into force governing the promotion of prosecutors and judges. The new reform package proposes that conformity of trial procedures with ECtHR criteria will be critical to their promotion within the profession, the Yeni Şafak daily reported on Wednesday.