Halit Habip Oğlu: “Despite the decade passed, our country Greece insists on not implementing the ECtHR judgements”
As part of its supervision mandate of the implementation of ECtHR judgements, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe at its meeting on 4-6 December 2018 in Strasbourg, reviewed the Bekir-Ousta cases related to the associations of the Turkish community in Western Thrace. The Committee of Ministers addressed whether the judgements of ECtHR on the associations Xanthi Turkish Union, the Cultural Association of Turkish Woman in the Prefecture of Rodopi and Evros Minority Youth Association under the name “Bekir-Ousta and others group” are implemented or not.
The Committee of Ministers, in its resolution of 6 December 2018 noted that despite the change made in Civil Procedures Law in 2017, Xanthi Turkish Union has not yet been returned its official identity and the Cultural Association of Turkish Woman in the Prefecture of Rodopi and Evros Minority Youth Association have not yet been registered either and the Committee recalled that the judgements of the ECtHR are related to the violations of right to freedom of association and ten years have already passed since the judgements were made. The Committee of Ministers asked the Greek authorities to rapidly take all necessary measures so that the applicants’ cases are examined by the domestic courts in full and effective compliance with Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the ECtHR judgments.
The Committee of Ministers asked the Greek authorities to be kept informed about the ongoing legal process in the cases of Bekir Ousta group and expressed its regret at the final verdict of the Court of Appeal in 2017 rejecting the application of the Cultural Association of Turkish Women in Xanthi for the registration on the same grounds which is criticized by the decision of ECtHR in 2008 on the mentioned cases. Furthermore, the Committee of Ministers called upon Greek authorities to take additional measures to ensure that domestic courts make decisions fully and effectively on the abolishment and registration of the associations in line with the ECtHR case-law. The Committee also exhorted the Greek authorities to extend the ECtHR case-law and to train systematically domestic judges at all levels on the ECtHR case-law. Finally, the Committee of Ministers decided to resume the examination of this group of cases at the first meeting to be held in September 2019 following the delivery of the Court of Cassation’s judgment in response to the application of Xanthi Turkish Union.
Halit Habip Oğlu, President of Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF) made the following statement, “ECtHR convicted our country Greece in its three judgements in 2008 on the grounds that Greece violated the Article 11 regarding the right to association of the European Convention on Human Rights to which it is a party. However, despite the decade that passed, our country insists on not implementing the judgements of the ECtHR related to Western Thrace Turkish associations and continues to disregard all warnings by the Committee of Ministers of the European Council. Moreover, the Committee of Ministers with the decisions it made in its last meeting showed that it is quite displeased by our country Greece’s delaying method and called on Greece that ECtHR case-law is extended within Greek domestic law and the applications of Xanthi Turkish Union, the Cultural Association of Turkish Woman in the Prefecture of Rodopi and Evros Minority Youth Association to the Greek courts are examined in full compliance to the ECtHR judgements and the 11th article of the European Convention on Human Rights. As ABTTF, we shall continue to inform the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe about ongoing legal process and developments at Greek national courts”.
You may Access the relevant resolution of the Committee of European Council through the link