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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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1. Further case declared Admissible: Avsar v. Turkey
2. Report of theEuropean Commission (A.31): Gundem v. Turkey
3. Investigation Hearings in Ankara (18-22 November 1996)

1. Behcet AVSAR v. Turkey (Application No. 25657/94)

By unanimous decision of the European Commission of Human Rights, on 14 October 1996, the case of Behcet AVSAR was declared Admissible.

The case concerns the abduction and extra-judicial killing of his brothers, Serif Avsar, in April 1994. The applicant's brother was taken from his shop in Diyarbakir by men identified as village guards and police men. Members of the Avar family followed the car in which his brother was taken and saw it enter the Gendarme headquarters. The authorities denied that he was being held.

May 1994: His corpe was later found on wasteground and the family was requested to attend t the University Hospital in Diyarbakir on 7 May 1994 to identify the body. The authopsy report estabished that he had been shot twice on the head.

July 1994: Six people were put on trial(5 village guards and one informat). Later, in their evidence in court, they say that they were given orders to carry out the killing. As of June 1996 the case was continuing.

The Commission will now procees to further investigation of this case and will then make a report on the facts and whethet the European Convention has been breached in this case. Once this report is completed it will become public at some future stage.

2. Report of the European Commission (A.31): Gundem v. Turkey

By report of the European Commission of Human Rights, adopted on 3 September 1996, the Commission concluded by 26 votes to 3 that Turkey had breached Article 6.1 of the European Convention of Human rights.

The case of Ismet Gundem concerned allegatins that his home and possessions were severely damaged in Sarierik village, district of Hazro, province of Diyarbakir in attacks by the security forces in January and February 1993.

The case was declared Admissible by the Commission in January 1995 (the full text of decision is n Volume 1 f KHRP Reports onthe cases and Investigate Hearings were held in Turkey in November 1995, when witnesses were called to give evidence.

The Applicant claimed violations of the Convention due to the Convention due to the damage to his home (Arts.8 and Art.1 of Protocol 1), inhuman and degrading treatment and lack of security and liberty because he was forced to move (Arts. 3 and 5) and lack of remedies and effective remedies and misuse of power by the state (Arts.6, 3 and 18). Because the Applicant did not appear to give evidence the commission ruled that it had an insufficient factual basis on which to reach a conclusion in relation to violations of Articles 3, 5, 8, or Article 1 of Protocol 1.(para.162).

"Whatever reason for the Applicant's absence, the Commission finds that his failure to give evidence made itdifficult to establish the facts". (para151). "for these reasons the Commission is of the opinion that it has not been established beyond reasonable doubt that the applicant's home and property were damaged by security forces and village guards on 7 January and 13 February 1993" (para.152)

In relation to Article 6.1 "The Commission's decision on admissibility points to the undoubted practical difficulties and inhibitions confronting persons like the applicant who complain of destruction of their homes... in South East Turkey, where broad emergency powers and immunities have been conferred on the Emergency Governors.... These difficulties are further demonstrated by the evidence taken in the present case, which shows that no investigatin into the events was undertaken until after the Commission had communicated the application to the Turkish Government... and the subsequent investigations ... cannot be considered to have been conducted in any efficient way"(para.171).

3. Further Investigation Hearings in Ankara

This week, 18-22 November 1996, there is a Commission Delegation in Ankara, taking evidence in four cased concerning:

  • the disappearance of the son of the Applicant (TIMURTAS v Turkey),
  • the killing of women and children during an attack on the village of Tepecik and the
  • destruction of the houses. (DEMIR v.Turkey) and (YASAR v. Turkey),
  • the extra-judicial killing of Dr. Zeki Tanrikulu, the husband of the applicant. (TANRIKULU v. Turkey).
The cases form part of a series of cases now before the European Commission of Human rights against the State of Turkey raising serious allegatins of human rights violations concerning the destructin and forced evacuation of villages, disappearances, deaths in detention, extra-judicial killings, torture, and freedom of expression. The individuals in these case are assisted in their applications to Strasbourg by the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) and the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD).