Justice minister slams ECHR ruling on FETÖ conviction

Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç has strongly criticized the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for its recent decision to rule against Türkiye in an individual case filed by a teacher convicted of affiliation with FETÖ, the organization behind the 2016 failed coup attempt.

"It is unacceptable for the ECHR to exceed its authority and give a decision of violation by examining the evidence on a case in which our judicial authorities at all levels, from the first instance court to the appeal, from the Supreme Court to the Constitutional Court, deem the evidence sufficient," Tunç wrote on X on Sept. 26.

The case in question involved Yüksel Yalçınkaya, a teacher convicted on multiple charges related to FETÖ based on the testimony of a secret witness.

He was charged of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app favored by the organization, having an account in Bank Asya, a bank seized by the state due to its links with the group, and being a member of organizations declared to be linked to FETÖ.

In 2020, Yalçınkaya applied to the ECHR, arguing that his conviction violated fundamental human rights.

The Grand Chamber of the ECHR ruled that Türkiye had violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, including Article 6 (right to a fair trial), Article 7 (no crime without law), and Article 11 (right to organize and assemble). As a result of the ruling, Türkiye was also ordered to pay Yalçınkaya's court costs, totaling 15,000 euros, along with any additional taxes and expenses that may arise.

Tunç emphasized that the ECHR's decision essentially questioned the verdict handed down by Turkish courts, stating, "By accepting as the applicant's representative at the Grand Chamber hearing a person with two separate arrest...

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