The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has stated that Turkey was obstructing the European Convention on Human Rights system, in its latest report dated April 12. 

The report listed member countries’ track records concerning their compliance with the ECHR rulings brought against them, according to reporting by online news outlet Euronews Turkish. 

Turkey’s ongoing failure to comply with the ECHR ruling to release Gezi Prisoner and philanthropist Osman Kavala caused “concern,” noted the report. 

The report reminded member states that they were obligated to comply with ECHR rulings for the credibility of the Convention on Human Rights system and the Council of Europe as a whole. 

Kavala is held in prison despite all efforts and appeals the Council has made, added the report. It would continue its efforts to demand member states to fulfill their legal obligations to the ECHR. 

The court ruled in 2019 that Turkey violated multiple articles of the Convention by imprisoning Kavala, and demanded his immediate release. Kavala had been awaiting trial under custody since 2017 back then.

Despite the ruling, a Turkish court in April 2022 sentenced Kavala to aggravated life in prison without parole on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government” in the Gezi Park trial.

Following the sentence, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe initiated infringement proceedings against Turkey. The proceedings could result in Turkey's eventual suspension from the Council of Europe, although it is one of the founding members of the council.

Kavala on January 2024 submitted a second application to the Court, concerning “continuing and new violations of the Convention” against him since the 2019 ruling. 

On April 8, representatives of Kavala announced that the ECHR granted “priority status” to the second case submitted by Kavala. 

The Court also referred the case to the Turkish Government and requested a formal reply by July 16. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been adamant about Kavala remaining in prison, and not complying with the ECHR decision. 

Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç in January held that the ECHR acted with “political concerns” in its Kavala ruling. 

Kavala was arrested in 2017 on charges that he helped to plan the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey. He was cleared of these charges in February 2020 but immediately arrested on charges that he orchestrated the July 2016 coup attempt, seen at the time as a way of getting around the ECHR ruling.

The top appeals court of Turkey also upheld the 18-year sentences of Gezi prisoners Tayfun Kahraman, Can Atalay, Çiğdem Mater, and Mine Özerden, during a 2022 hearing.