The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced on Thursday that the number of new applications against Turkey skyrocketed 276 percent year-on-year in 2016 while the increase largely stemmed from the government’s human rights violations in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.
ECtHR received a total of 8,308 new applications against Turkey, of which 5,363 were filed after the coup attempt alone, during 2016. The number of new applications against Turkey with the Strasbourg-based court was only 2,212 in 2015.
A week after the coup attempt, Turkey suspended its obligations emanating from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and issued a State of Emergency rule. Since then, more than 123,900 people have lost their jobs, nearly 90,000 were detained and 43,885 arrested.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International earlier reported that post-coup detainees are being subjected to torture, rape and stress positions.
With the recent applications, the ECtHR’s total caseload with regards to Turkish cases boosted to 12,575 and Turkey rose from third place in 2015 to second place in 2016 in the ranking of high case count states. Turkey-related cases account for 15.8 percent of the total workload of the court.
Ukraine ranks the first in the list with 18,150 cases against Kiev making up 22.8 percent of total caseload in 2016.
ECtHR President Guido Raimondi said the court could be submerged by tens of thousands of cases if Turkish authorities fail to do their part regarding complaints.
On Jan. 23, Turkey formed the “Commission to Investigate State of Emergency Matters” solve judicial cases filed against state institutions by purge victims. However, the Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Jan. 26 that the commission was established in order to prevent the victims of post-coup violations from taking their cases to ECtHR.
Exhaustion of local remedies is a must for one to appeal to ECtHR.