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Turkey: Court dismisses teacher’s complaint against coup dismissal

A teacher, dismissed after Turkey’s attempted coup d’état, must first challenge the measure before a domestic commission, according to Strasbourg judges.

Earlier today, they decided unanimously to declare inadmissible the case of Köksal v. Turkey (application no. 70478/16). The decision is final.

The applicant, Gökhan Köksal, was a teacher at the “1071 Malazgirt” primary school in Erzurum (Turkey). On 25 July 2016 he was suspended from his duties in the context of measures taken after a state of emergency had been declared on 21 July 2016.

The European court ruled that Köksal must challenge his dismissal before the commission set up under Legislative Decree no. 685

The court dismissed the application for failure to exhaust domestic remedies, finding that Köksal had to use the remedy provided for under Legislative Decree no. 685.

That legislation provided for the setting-up of a commission with the task, in particular, of adjudicating upon appeals against measures adopted directly by Legislative Decrees issued in the context of the state of emergency, including the dismissals of civil servants. The decisions taken by the commission could then be appealed against before the administrative courts, whose

The decisions taken by the commission could then be appealed against before the administrative courts, whose decisions in turn could be challenged before the Constitutional Court by individual petition. When that highest court had examined a case

and given judgment, any individual could submit a complaint under the Convention to the European Court.

Civil servants affected by the relevant measures thus had the possibility of referring their cases to the commission within 60 days from a date to be announced by the Prime Minister by 23 July 2017 at the latest (six months after the entry into force of the Legislative Decree).

The burden of proof as to the effectiveness of this remedy would then be on the respondent state.

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