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STRASBOURG 09.09.2022

The Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe (ASPS) today called for concerted action to obtain the release of Hakan Altinay, Director of the Turkish School, who was sentenced to 18 years in jail by a Turkish Court in April on trumped up charges in flagrant violation of the rule of law and Europe’s basic values.

Since the creation of the Turkish School of Political Studies in 2014, Altinay has worked closely with the Council of Europe to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law. But at the trial his connections with the Council of Europe, the European Union and the international community were portrayed as incriminating factors in the indictment levelled against him, a disturbing state of affairs for the judicial system of one of the Council of Europe’s oldest member states.

The ASPS called on the rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Turkey (John Howell, a UK Conservative MP and Boriss Cilevics, a Latvian Socialist) to take a firm stand, at their 14 September meeting, on the gravely concerning state of human rights in Turkey and to present a strong case for Hakan Altinay who is a member of the Council of Europe community.

The ASPS noted that an appeal of the verdict was underway and that it would be following the proceedings in anticipation of a fair and speedy trial for Hakan Altinay and his co-defendants.

The ASPS also noted that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights had reviewed the relevant court file thoroughly and that in its 11 July 2022 judgement in the Kavala vs Turkey case it had stated that “… its finding of a violation of Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights taken together with Article 5 in the Kavala judgement had vitiated any action resulting from the charges related to the Gezi Park events and the attempted coup”.

Urging concerted action by the Council of Europe and the European Union to obtain the release of Hakan Altinay, Osman Kavala and other prisoners of conscience the ASPS said action and not just words were needed to uphold European values and to free those who were being punished for promoting Human Rights and democracy.

“We do not wish to see another of our members languish in jail for years as happened with Ilgar Mammadov in Azerbaijan due to the failure of the international community to act in a timely and decisive manner” the ASPS said.

The above statement was approved as follows by the Schools in:

  • Albania : Erjon Tase, Director of the Academy of Political Studies
  • Armenia : Armen Zakaryan, Director of Yerevan School of Political Studies
  • Azerbaijan : Ilgar Mammadov, Director of the Baku Political Studies Programme
  • Belarus : Alexander Dabravolski, Director of the East-European School of Political Studies
  • Bulgaria : Alexander Ilchev, Program Coordinator of the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina : Esad Mavric, Director of the School of Political Studies
  • Croatia : Ivana Novoselec, Director of the Academy of Political Development
  • Georgia : Armaz Akhvlediani, Director of the Tbilisi School of Political Studies
  • Greece : Despina Syrri, Director of the Civic School of Political Studies (Symbiosis)
  • Kosovo : Leonora Kryeziu, Director of the Pristina Institute for Political Studies
  • Kyrgyzstan : Elmira Nogoibaeva, Director of the Academy of Civic
  • Moldova : Natalia Spinu, Director of the European Institute for Political Studies of Moldova
  • North Macedonia : Zhidas Daskalovki, Director of the “Mother Teresa” School of Public Policy
  • Montenegro : Milan Radovié, Director of the School of Political Studies
  • Morocco : Youssef Laaraj, Director of the Citizenship School of Political Studies
  • Visegrad : Marta Samburska-Kinal, Consultant of the Visegrad School of Political Studies
  • Russia : Lena Nemirovskaya, Founder of the Moscow School of Civic Education Inna Berezkina, Program coordinator of the School of Civic Education
  • Serbia : Sonja Licht, Director of the Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society
  • Tunisia : Ahmed Driss, Director of the Tunisian School of Politics
  • Ukraine : Svitlana Matviienko, Director of the Ukrainian School of Political Studies


  • The Association of Schools of Political Studies (ASPS) was set up in July 2008 by the Directors of the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe to play an enhanced role in the management of their programme, to strengthen links between the Schools and foster their activities.
  • The first School was set up in Moscow in 1992. Since then other Schools have been established in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.
  • Nils Muiznieks became President of the ASPS in November 2018. He was the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights from 2012 to 2018. Previously he had held several important posts in Latvia including Minister responsible for social integration, Director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI) and Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies.


For the official Statement document click HERE.

Photo Source: Yeni Şafak

This post is also available in SRP.

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