All doors shut for Turkey’s jailed hunger-striking educators as ECHR also rejects their application

Erk Acarer

With its decision issued today, on 2 August 2017, European Court of Human Rights has stated that the state of Turkey has been taking care of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça very well. And, despite the reports by 24 doctors in the file of Gülmen and Özakça, the ECHR has said the two jailed educators, who have been on a hunger-strike for nearly 5 months to demand their jobs back, are not in a life-threatening health condition.

Additionally, the Court has also given recommendations to the applicants in its decision with regards to referring their case to national courts in Turkey.

This decision of ECHR is considered by lawyers and supporters of Nuriye and Semih as a ‘shameful decision to be given by an institution that stands as the representative of the values asserted in the European Convention on Human Rights’.
Lawyers of the two educators criticized the decision harshly by saying ‘the decision will one day be remembered with an embarrassment’.

“With this decision of the ECHR, the legal process we started on May 24 in the face of unlawful detentions (of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça) has come to an end. We have at least insistently tried all possible ways offered by current laws. What is now left is the people of Turkey and their conscience - which Nuriye and Semih have always trusted and loved all along the way – and their own dignity, which they have been protecting by jeopardizing their lives. And, that does need ‘laws’! We are on their side”, said the lawyers from the People’s Law Office of Turkey.


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