SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Turkish court refuses to release jailed MP despite top court ruling

A Turkish court refused on Wednesday to release the newly elected opposition lawmaker Can Atalay despite a Constitutional Court ruling that his rights to security, liberty and to be elected were violated.

The Constitutional Court issued the ruling last week, saying he should be released immediately.

An Istanbul penal court heard Atalay’s case on Wednesday but refused to release him, instead transferring the case to the Court of Cassation.

“Istanbul 13th Criminal Court has just unanimously sent the case once again to the 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation. This is a constitutional crime,” said Erkan Bas, who leads Atalay’s Workers’ Party, an ally of the pro-Kurdish Green-Left Party.

Atalay, 47, was elected to parliament in May 14 elections while serving an 18-year prison sentence.

Atalay was sentenced in April 2022 after being convicted of trying to overthrow the government by allegedly organising the nationwide Gezi Park protests in 2013 with Turkish philanthropist Osman Kavala and six others.

All the defendants denied the charges, saying the protests developed spontaneously. The demonstrations marked the biggest popular challenge to President Tayyip Erdogan in his two decades in power.

Last month, the appeals Court of Cassation made a criminal complaint against judges of the Constitutional Court, which ruled that jailed parliamentarian Atalay should be released.

President Erdogan said parliament may pass a legal amendment to resolve a judicial crisis involving an unprecedented clash between two of the country’s top courts.

    Source:
  • Reuters