When the Gloves Go Off? Turkey Intends to Suspend the European Convention on Human Rights


Could the state of emergency and the suspension of the ECHR justify the measures which have been adopted in Turkey in the past days (removal of public servants and teachers, purge in the judiciary, ban on academic travel, etc.)? With the ECHR suspended, are the (legal) gloves off in Turkey? Can the government use just any means it finds appropriate to suppress those segments of society in which it sees a threat? This reflection shows that all these questions have to be answered in the negative. It gives more details on the topic discussed in ILR#5.

On 20 July 2016, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared three-month state of emergency. One day later, Turkey announced its intention to suspend the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which it had ratified in 1954. The measures follow a failed military coup aimed at ousting Erdogan´s government which took place on 15 July 2016. They are, according to Erdogan, being taken to counter threats to democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Turkey.