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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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Report of the European Commission (Article 31) :Gulten AYTEKIN v. Turkey Investigation hearings in Ankara (15-21 November 1997)

Gulten AYTEKIN V. Turkey

In its report on 18 September 1997, the European Commission found a violation of Article 2 (the right to life) in the case of Gulten Aytekin. The application was found admissible on 15 May 1995. The case is brought by the applicant on behalf of her husband, Mr. Ali Riza Aytekin.

According to the applicant : On 24 April 1993, the applicant's husband, his brother and two cousins were driving along slowly, over speed bumps, by Yanikkaya gendarme station in the Sason district of Batman province when they were hailed by a gendarme. As he pulled over to stop, the gendarme shot in the direction of the vehicle. The bullet entered entered the rear window of the vehicle and killed Ali Aytekin instantly.

The Government contended that the car was travelling at high speed and gave the impression of attempting to break through the control post. An investigation was initiated by a public prosecutor which has since been transferred to the military authorities. At the time of the Commission's report, the investigation was still pending.

The Commission stated in its report that, in the circumstances, the force used was neither absolutely necessary nor strictly proportionate. It also found the gendarme's account that he was forced to take evasive action to avoid the car unconvincing. The Commission was also of the opinion that the investigation undertaken was inadequate, was not independent and lacked objectivity, so as to amount to the failure to protect the right to life. Additionally, the Turkish authorities, in the Court's opinion have failed to resolve the factual issues concerning the circumstance in which Mr. Aytekin lost his life.

The case was referred to the European Court of Human Rights on 25 October 1997.

Investigation Hearings

Huseyin and Devrim BERKTAY v. Turkey.

The case concerns allegations by two applicants, a father and son, that on 3 February 1993, police officers whilst conducting a search of their flat, threw Devrim Berktay over a balcony, four floors up, and then deliberately delayed Huseyin Berktay from taking his son to the health centre by insisting he sign a statement incriminating his son.

The Turkish Government submitted that Devrim Berktay jumped off the balcony of his own volition and they deny that Huseyin Berktay was prevented from taking his son to the health centre immediately.

The applicants are invoking various provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life (Article 2) and the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment (Article 3).

The case was declared admissible by the Commission on 11 October 1994.

Eshat AKTAS v. Turkey.

In the Aktas Case, the applicant complains that his brother Yakup Aktas, who had been arrested in Mardin on 18 November 1994 and died on 25 November 1994, was tortured and killed while in detention. He alleged violation of the right to life (Article 2) and was subjected to torture or inhuman treatment (Article 3), the right to access to a court (Article 6) and an effective remedy before a national authority (Article 13) and freedom from discrimination (Article 14).

Turkey denies the death of the applicant's brother was in any way due to his treatment in custody.

The case was declared admissible by the Commission on 4 September 1995.

At the investigation hearings in Ankara, the Delegates from the Commission heard evidence from the applicants as well as other witnesses, police officers, the gendarmerie, doctors and public prosecutors. They will report to the Commission at its next session between the 1 and 12 December 1997.


The Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) has assisted these applicants in bringing their case before the European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg.