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Human rights

More than 5,000 cases filed against Turkey over post-coup purge, says ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights has called on the complainants to exhaust legal avenues in Turkey before applying at the rights body. The court's president warned it could be "submerged" by the number of applications.

The president of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday announced that 5,363 cases filed by Turkish nationals have been lodged against Turkey over its crackdown in the wake of a failed coup last year.

The "massive influx" of applications against Turkey after July 15 increased by 276 percent compared to the year before, ECHR President Guido Raimondi said.

An additional 2,945 cases had been filed by Turkish nationals last year, although not directly linked to the aftermath of the failed coup, bringing the total to more than 8,000 applications to the European court.

In the wake of the coup, Turkey launched a crackdown against alleged supporters of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, which targeted military officers as well as academics, journalists and academics.

More than 100,000 people have been suspended or fired from their jobs for alleged links to Gulen, who Ankara accused of orchestrating the putsch. Nearly 50,000 people have been arrested for alleged links to Gulen, according to authorities.

'Submerged'

The court last November rejected an application brought by a judge over her pre-trial detention, saying she failed to exhaust all legal routes within the country.

The complainants' "fears as to the impartiality of the Constitutional Court's judges did not in themselves relieve her of the obligation to lodge an application before the court," the European court said.

Raimondi encouraged the complainants to explore legal avenues available in Turkey, including the country's constitutional court, before applying to the ECHR.

"It is good to let the Turkish authorities do their job," Raimondi said, noting that failing to do so could lead the ECHR becoming "submerged by tens of thousands of cases."

Under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country has witnessed relations with the EU falter due to widespread violations of human rights and freedom of speech.

ls/bw (dpa, AFP)

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