Kavala case: Turkey to leave Council of Europe?
A Turkish court on Friday extended the imprisonment of philantrophist Osman Kavala, who has already been in prison for four years. The European Court of Human Rights has long been calling for his release. Turkey now faces expulsion from the Council of Europe, with proceedings set to begin next week.
Erdoğan doesn't care anymore
The Turkish president won't be intimidated by the criticism from the West, Istanbul correspondent Susanne Güsten writes in Der Tagesspiegel:
“He controls most of the media in Turkey and claims that his country is a squeaky-clean constitutional state of which America and Europe are so envious that they continually hurl baseless accusations at it. This is likely to be his argument when the Council of Europe initiates infringement proceedings next week - and many Turks will believe him. Erdoğan and his supporters live in a kind of parallel universe in which political reality does not count for much. They no longer attach any importance to Europe. So if only for the sake of its own credibility, the Council of Europe should now really initiate the expulsion proceedings.”
A test for democracy
It is questionable whether the Council of Europe will actually dare to initiate sanctions, says T24:
“If you look at the founding principles of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, the answer is clear: exclusion from the Council. If this decision is considered too harsh, Turkey's membership of the Council could just be suspended instead. Is there a third option? No, there really shouldn't be. This is a test for the Council of Europe. A test for democracy. Another test that the Council has already failed several times in the past.”