Turkey etiketine sahip kayıtlar gösteriliyor. Tüm kayıtları göster
Turkey etiketine sahip kayıtlar gösteriliyor. Tüm kayıtları göster

Hrant Dink Murder on Seventh Anniversary of his Death

Kader Kadem | 13:20 | 0 Comments
The İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court has resumed hearing the case and ordered the arrest of two suspects in the trial of Dink's murder

Thousands took part in a walk in İstanbul on Sunday commemorating the seventh anniversary of the death of Hrant Dink, showing that there remains a persistent conviction that connections behind his assassination have been covered up by the state.

Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was shot by a 17-year-old boy, Ogün Samast, on Jan. 19, 2007, in front of the Agos newspaper office, where he served as editor-in-chief. In January 2012, a court ruled on life imprisonment for Yasin Hayal on charges of instigating the murder; another suspect, Erhan Tuncel, was acquitted of murder charges.

In May 2013, the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the court's original ruling, which dismissed the existence of an organized criminal network in the case. The lower court, which found no evidence that a terrorist organization was involved in Ogün Samast's assassination of Dink in 2007, had acquitted the suspects of claims that they had been forming a terrorist organization. The court did, however, say they were guilty of forming an illegal and armed organization to commit a crime, prohibited under Article 220 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

As part of the ongoing trial over the assassination of Dink, Prosecutor Muammer Akkaş called on Sabri Uzun, the former head of intelligence for the National Police Department, to testify on Jan. 3, 2014. After the initial trial concluded, Akkaş, who is in charge of investigations into terrorism, re-evaluated the Dink case from the beginning, searching for anything previous investigators had missed. However, Uzun submitted to the office of the prosecutor a “heath report” that temporarily prevented him from testifying in court.

The İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court has resumed hearing the case and ordered the arrest of two suspects in the trial of Dink's murder, Osman Hayal and Zeynel Abidin, following their absence from a hearing held on Tuesday.

Journalist and Armenian activist Hayko Bağdat told Today's Zaman that one needs to question the state if there is talk of an organization involved in the murder. He also called the Dink assassination a result of a “national agreement” because of the alleged responsibility of multiple parts of the state.

According to him, not only could the Ergenekon terrorist organization have been a potential collaborator in Dink's killing, but so could have other forces within the state. Bağdat noted that the defendants involved in the case, specifically Ali Fuat Yılmazer and Ramazan Akyürek, were promoted in their government posts.

Criticizing Prosecutor Akkaş for not taking any action in the three years since he assumed the case, Bağdat says that due to a confidentiality clause, Dink's friends were not even able to hear who was called to testify in the case. “We only heard that Sabri Uzun was called to the court through the media even though we have been waiting at the door of the prosecutor for some explanation over the past three years,” he said.

Addressing this topic, human rights lawyer and Today's Zaman columnist Orhan Kemal Cengiz evaluates the Dink murder from a wider angle and argues that “institutionalized racism” in Turkey is responsible for the process that led to Dink's murder and the subsequent cover-up of his assassination. Referring to memorable photographs that a number of policemen took with the assassin Samast, Cengiz says that in any other country, a scandal like this would have ended with the resignation of the interior minister.

According to him, Turkey has not been able to face crimes committed particularly against non-Muslims and Armenians, which has led to cover-ups in the Dink case. He also said that İstanbul's governor at the time, Muammer Güler, who dismissed threats against Dink, was later promoted despite his negligence in the case. In reference to a race code attributed to non-Muslims by the state since 1923, Cengiz says profiling as such explains why we do not have any non-Muslim policemen, soldiers or prosecutors.

At the commemoration ceremony on Sunday, thousands walked from Taksim to the Agos newspaper office in Osmanbey. However, police restricted access to Gezi Park and Taksim Square before the walk started.

Talking to the media, Fethiye Çetin, the Dink family's lawyer, called for a re-evaluation of the Dink investigation from the beginning to the overturning at the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Current Editor-in-Chief of Agos Roper Koptaş also said those who covered up the murder have been declared innocent by the court, which is why the Dink family no longer attends the trials. “There has not been any progress made towards justice,” he said, arguing that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has responsibility in the case because it has not revealed those who planned and executed the murder, nor those who have overlooked the importance of it. “We do not expect justice from the state that committed the murder,” he also pointed out.

Meanwhile, a few policemen reportedly wore white berets during the gathering in front of Agos, which raised criticism from the participants because the white beret has become a symbol of Dink's murder since one was also worn by the assassin Samast on the day of the murder. Deputies Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Sebahat Tuncel, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, former deputy Ufuk Uras and columnist Cengiz Çandar also attended the event, in which people chanted for justice.

Case of Ahmet Atahür Söyler v. Turkey

Kader Kadem | 07:25 | 0 Comments
Republic of Turkey lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Turkish national, Mr Ahmet Atahür SöylerCase of Ahmet Atahür Söyler v. Turkey (Application no. 29411/07)
JUDGMENT (17 September 2013)
STRASBOURG

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (no. 29411/07) against the Republic of Turkey lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Turkish national, Mr Ahmet Atahür Söyler (“the applicant”), on 12 July 2007.

2. The applicant, who had been granted legal aid, was represented by Mr Serkan Cengiz, a lawyer practising in İzmir. The Turkish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent.

3. The applicant alleged, in particular, that his inability to vote in the general elections while he was serving a prison sentence was in violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention (hereinafter “Article 3 of Protocol No. 1”).

4. On 31 March 2010 the application was communicated to the Government. It was also decided to rule on the admissibility and merits of the application at the same time (Article 29 § 1).

THE FACTS
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
5. The applicant was born in 1966 and lives in İzmir.

6. The applicant, a businessman, was convicted for having drawn a number of cheques without having sufficient funds in his bank account, an offence defined in the now repealed Law No. 3167 on Cheques (see “Relevant Domestic Law and Practice”). He was sentenced to a prison term of four years, eleven months and twenty-six days. He started serving his sentence on 11 April 2007.

7. While he was serving his prison sentence in Buca Prison in İzmir, the applicant wrote to the High Council for Elections on 28 June 2007 and stated that his name was on the electoral roll for the forthcoming general elections of 22 July 2007. He added that this was possibly due to an error on the part of the High Council for Elections which must have overlooked the fact that he, as a convicted prisoner, was unable to vote. Referring to the judgment in the case of Hirst v. the United Kingdom (no. 2) [GC] (no. 74025/01, ECHR 2005‑IX) the applicant requested that he should nevertheless be allowed to cast his vote in the July 2007 elections. He added that the right to vote was a right guaranteed in, inter alia, Article 3 of Protocol No. 1. He argued that the Hirst judgment, when read in conjunction with section 90 of the Constitution (see “Relevant Domestic Law and Practice” below), meant that the High Council for Elections was under an obligation to make the necessary arrangements in order to enable him to vote.

8. On 29 June 2007 the High Council for Elections replied to the applicant’s letter, and informed him that pursuant to section 7 § 3 of Law No. 298 (see “Relevant Domestic Law and Practice” below) it was not possible for him to vote. The High Council for Elections added that it was in the process of correcting its records to reflect the applicant’s status as a convicted prisoner.

9. A similarly worded letter was sent to the applicant by the Chairman of the High Council for Elections on 2 July 2007.

10. On 22 July 2007 general elections took place and the applicant was unable to cast his vote.

11. Although the applicant’s prison sentence was to end on 1 April 2012, he was released from prison on probation on 9 April 2009 pursuant to Law No. 647 for good behaviour (see “Relevant Domestic Law and Practice” below). However, in accordance with the applicable legislation, the applicant’s inability to vote continued until 1 April 2012.

II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
12. Relevant parts of the Turkish Constitution provide as follows:
“Section 67:

In conformity with the conditions set forth in the law, citizens have the right to vote, to be elected, and to engage in political activities independently or in a political party, and to take part in a referendum.

Elections and referenda shall be held under the direction and supervision of the judiciary, in accordance with the principles of free, equal, secret, and direct, universal suffrage, and public counting of the votes. However, the conditions under which the Turkish citizens who are abroad shall be able to exercise their right to vote, are regulated by law.

All Turkish citizens over 18 years of age shall have the right to vote in elections and to take part in referenda.

The exercise of these rights shall be regulated by law.
Privates and corporals serving in the armed services, students in military schools, and convicts in prisons excluding those convicted of negligent offences cannot vote. The High Council for Elections shall determine the measures to be taken to ensure the safety of the counting of votes when detainees in penal institutions or prisons vote; such voting is done under the on-site direction and supervision of authorized judge. The electoral laws shall be drawn up in such a way as to reconcile the principles of fair representation and consistency in administration.

The amendments made in the electoral laws shall not be applied to the elections to be held within the year from when the amendments come into force.

Section 90:
International agreements duly put into effect bear the force of law. No appeal to the Constitutional Court shall be made with regard to these agreements, on the grounds that they are unconstitutional. In the case of a conflict between international agreements in the area of fundamental rights and freedoms duly put into effect and the domestic laws due to differences in provisions on the same matter, the provisions of international agreements shall prevail.”

13. Section 7 of the Law on Basic Provisions Concerning Elections and on Registers of Voters (Law No. 298 of 1961) provides as follows:
The following persons cannot vote:
(1) Privates, corporals and sergeants performing their military service (this provision is applicable also to those on leave, whatever the reason for their leave),
(2) Students in military schools,
(3) Convicts in penitentiary establishments.”

14. Relevant provisions of section 53 of the Criminal Code (Law no. 5237 of 2004) provide as follows:
“(1) As the statutory consequence of imposition of a prison sentence for an offence committed intentionally, the person shall be deprived of the following [rights]:
a) Undertaking of permanent or temporary public duties, including membership of the Turkish National Assembly and all civil service and other duties which are offered through election or appointment by the State, city councils, town councils, village councils, or organisations controlled or supervised by them;
b) Voting, standing for election and enjoying all other political rights;
c) Exercising custodial rights as a parent; performing duties as a guardian or a trustee;
d) Chairing or auditing foundations, associations, unions, companies, cooperatives and political parties;

e) Performing a self-employed profession which is subject to regulation by public organisations or by chambers of commerce which have public status.
(2) The person cannot enjoy the [above-mentioned] rights until the completion of execution of the prison sentence to which he or she has been sentenced as a consequence of the commission of the offence.
(3) The provisions above which relate to the exercise of custodial rights as a parent, and duties as a guardian or a trustee shall not be applicable to the convicted person whose prison sentence is suspended or who is conditionally released from the prison. A decision may [also] be taken not to apply subsection 1 (e) above to a convict whose prison sentence is suspended.
(4) Sub-section 1 above shall not be applicable to persons whose short term prison sentence is suspended or to persons who were under the age of eighteen at the time of the commission of the offence.
(5) Where the person is sentenced for an offence committed by abusing one of the rights and powers mentioned in sub-section 1 above, a further prohibition of the enjoyment of the same right shall be imposed for a period equal to between a half and the whole length of the prison sentence.

15. According to section 49 § 2, a prison sentence for a period of less than one year shall be regarded as a short term prison sentence.

16. According to section 19 of the Law on the Execution of Punishments (Law No. 647) which was in force at the time of the calculation of the length of the applicant’s prison sentence, prisoners sentenced to a term of imprisonment could be conditionally released from prison for good behaviour after having served half of their sentences. However, for the purposes of section 53 (2) of the Criminal Code, the date of completion of the prison sentence is not the date of the conditional release, but the last day of the prison sentence handed down by the criminal court.

17. According to the Explanatory Report of the Criminal Code, the rationale behind section 53 of the Criminal Code is as follows:
“Society’s trust in the person is damaged on account of the offence committed by him or her. For that reason the convicted person is prevented from exercising certain rights which necessitate a relationship of trust...This deprivation cannot be indefinite. Since the rationale behind punishment is to ensure that the criminal comes to regret committing the offence and that he or she is reintroduced into society, deprivations imposed for the commission of the offence shall continue until the end of the execution of the punishment. Thus, the person will be behaving in accordance with the needs of the execution of his punishment and, when he has done so, he will be declaring to society that he has once again become a trustworthy person...”.

18. According to Law on Cheques (Law No. 5941) which entered into force on 20 December 2009 and which was amended by Law No. 6273 on 3 February 2012, drawing cheques without having sufficient funds in the bank account no longer carries a prison sentence. Instead, the person is prevented from having a cheque book until he has paid his debt together with its interest.

19. In its decision handed down in an unrelated case (decision no. 2006/11-183 E., 2006/216 K.) the Grand Chamber of the Criminal Division of the Court of Cassation held the following in relation to section 53 of the Criminal Code:
“...Although no mention was made of the restrictions mentioned in subsection 1 of section 53 of the Criminal Code in the judgment [convicting the appellant], [those] restrictions are the natural consequence of the conviction and do not have to be mentioned in the judgment for them to be applicable. Therefore, when [the judgment] is enforced, section 53 will be applied and the restrictions mentioned in subsection 1 (a-e) will come into play. Although after his conditional release from the prison the [appellant] will be able to exercise his powers [mentioned in 53 § 1 (c) of the Criminal Code], restrictions placed on his other rights will continue until his sentence has been executed fully...”.

III. RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL MATERIALS
20. A description of relevant international materials and comparative law can be found in Scoppola v. Italy (no. 3) [GC] (no. 126/05, §§ 40-60, 22 May 2012).

THE LAW
I. ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF ARTICLE 3 OF PROTOCOL NO. 1
21. The applicant argued that his disenfranchisement breached his rights guaranteed in Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 which provides as follows:
“The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.”

22. The Government contested the applicant’s arguments.

A. Admissibility
23. The Court notes that this complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.

B. Merits
24. The applicant complained that his disenfranchisement was in breach of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1. He maintained that he had not only been unable to vote in the general elections held in July 2007 while he was being detained in the prison, but also in the general elections of 2011 held after his conditional release. The reason for this was that, even though he was conditionally released from prison on 9 April 2009, the official date for the completion of the execution of his sentence was 1 April 2012 (see paragraph 11 above).

25. The applicant submitted that he had been a businessman and owned a company at the beginning of the 2000s. He had been convicted as a result of several unpaid cheques which had been drawn by him when his business was affected by the severe economic crisis in Turkey which eventually bankrupted him. Thus, the offence committed by him did not mean that he was so morally or mentally untrustworthy as to be prevented from exercising his civic duties.

26. The applicant considered that the national legislation on disenfranchisement did not take into account the nature of the offence or the severity of the punishment. As such, it was wholly disproportionate in its application. The only criterion taken into account when imposing the ban was the element of “intention" in the commission of the offence.

27. Referring to the judgment in the case of Hirst (no. 2) [GC] (cited above, §§ 71 and 82), the applicant argued that he had been the victim of an automatic ban. Referring to the statistics issued by the Ministry of Justice, the applicant added that the blanket ban on voting did not reflect the principles of today’s democratic society, and affected a great proportion of the 80,448 convicted inmates in prisons in Turkey (November 2010 figures).
28. The Government acknowledged that Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 guaranteed individual rights, including the right to vote and to stand for election, and that the applicant’s right to vote had been restricted in the present case.

29. The Government referred to the Explanatory Report of the Criminal Code where the rationale behind section 53 of the Criminal Code is set out (see § 17 above in “Relevant Domestic Law and Practice”), and submitted that the legitimate aim of the restriction was the applicant’s rehabilitation. They maintained that the restriction on the right to vote in Turkey was not a ‘blanket ban’ because the applicable legislation limited the scope of the restriction in accordance with the nature of the offence. Referring to the judgment in the case of Hirst (no. 2) [GC] (cited above), the Government argued that, unlike the situation in the United Kingdom, the Turkish legislation restricting the right to vote was only applicable to persons who has committed offences intentionally. In the United Kingdom the legislation was applicable to all convicted prisoners detained in prisons, irrespective of the length of their sentence, the nature or gravity of the offence, and their individual circumstances.

30. In Turkey the constitutional provisions concerning the issue of prisoners’ voting had undergone two amendments in 1995 and 2001. In 1995 the Constitution had been amended to exclude remand prisoners from the scope of the restriction because disenfranchising a person detained in prison pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings against him was considered incompatible with the principle of presumption of innocence. In the 2001 amendment, persons convicted of offences committed involuntarily had been excluded from the restrictions on voting. As it stood today, the national legislation was applicable only in respect of offences committed intentionally. In the opinion of the Government, the offences committed intentionally were “stronger” in nature as they included the element of “intention”.

31. The Court notes that the general principles applicable in the present case can be found in Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt v. Belgium (2 March 1987, § 46-54, Series A no. 113); Hirst (no. 2) ([GC], cited above, §§ 56-71, 74-77 and 82); Frodl v. Austria (no. 20201/04, §§ 28 and 33-35, 8 April 2010), and Scoppola v. Italy (no. 3) ([GC], cited above, §§ 82-84, 96, 99 and 101-102). The Court will examine the applicant’s complaints in the light of the principles identified in those judgments.

32. The Court observes at the outset that the applicant, who had been sentenced to a prison term of four years, eleven months and twenty-six days, began serving his sentence on 11 April 2007 (see paragraph 6 above). In accordance with the applicable legislation, his disenfranchisement did not end when he was conditionally released from prison on 9 April 2009, but continued until the initially foreseen date of release on 1 April 2012 (see paragraphs 11, 14 and 19 above). Between 11 April 2007 and 1 April 2012 two general elections were held and the applicant was unable to vote in either of them. Having thus established that the applicant was directly affected by the measure foreseen in the national legislation which prevented him from voting on two occasions, the Court will proceed to examine whether the measure in question pursued a legitimate aim and did so in a proportionate manner.

33. According to the Court’s established case-law referred to above, the rights enshrined in Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 are not absolute. There is room for implied limitations and the Contracting States must be afforded a wide margin of appreciation in this sphere. There are numerous ways of organising and running electoral systems and a wealth of differences, inter alia, in historical development, cultural diversity and political thought within Europe which it is for each Contracting State to mould into its own democratic vision (see Scoppola (no. 3) [GC], cited above, § 83 and the cases cited therein).

34. However, it is for the Court to determine in the last resort whether the requirements of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 have been complied with; it has to satisfy itself that the conditions do not curtail the rights in question to such an extent as to impair their very essence and deprive them of their effectiveness; that they are imposed in pursuit of a legitimate aim; and that the means employed are not disproportionate. In particular, any conditions imposed must not thwart the free expression of the people in the choice of the legislature – in other words, they must reflect, or not run counter to, the concern to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of an electoral procedure aimed at identifying the will of the people through universal suffrage. Any departure from the principle of universal suffrage risks undermining the democratic validity of the legislature thus elected and the laws it promulgates. Exclusion of any groups or categories of the general population must accordingly be reconcilable with the underlying purposes of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (ibid. § 84 and the cases cited therein).

35. Furthermore, an indiscriminate restriction applicable automatically to prisoners, irrespective of the length of their sentence and irrespective of the nature or gravity of their offence and their individual circumstances, must be seen as falling outside any acceptable margin of appreciation, however wide that margin might be, and as being incompatible with Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (Hirst (no. 2) [GC], cited above, § 82).

36. As it appears from the relevant national provisions summarised above in the “Relevant Domestic Law and Practice”, persons convicted of having intentionally committed an offence are unable to vote. Moreover, their disenfranchisement does not come to an end on release from prison on probation, but continues until the end of the period of the original sentence handed down at the time of their conviction. In fact, pursuant to section 53 § 3 of the Criminal Code, even when a prison sentence which is longer than one year is suspended and the convicted person does not serve any time in the prison, he or she will still be unable to vote for the duration of the suspension of the sentence (see paragraph 14 above).

37. Having regard to the Government’s submission that the restrictions on the applicant’s right to vote pursued the aim of rehabilitating him, and having further regard to the rationale of section 53 of the Criminal Code set out in the Explanatory Report (see paragraph 17 above) relied on by the Government, the Court is prepared to accept, notwithstanding whatever doubt there may be as to the efficacy of achieving these aims through a bar on voting, that the restriction on the applicant’s right to vote pursued the aim of encouraging citizen-like conduct, and considers that that aim is not untenable or incompatible per se with the right guaranteed under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (Hirst (no. 2) [GC], cited above, §§ 74-75).

38. In light of the above, and in so far as they are applicable to convicts who do not even serve a prison term, the Court considers that the restrictions placed on convicted prisoners’ voting rights in Turkey are harsher and more far-reaching than those applicable in the United Kingdom, Austria and Italy, which have been the subject matter of examination by the Court in its judgments in the above-mentioned cases of Hirst (no. 2) [GC], Frodl and Scoppola (no. 3) [GC].

39. Furthermore, although the removal of the right to vote without any ad hoc judicial decision is not among the essential criteria for determining the proportionality of a disenfranchisement measure (see Scoppola (no. 3) [GC], cited above, § 99) and it does not, in itself, give rise to a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (ibid, §§ 103-104), the intervention of a judge is in principle likely to guarantee the proportionality of restrictions on prisoners’ voting rights (ibid. § 99). In Turkey, disenfranchisement is an automatic consequence derived from the statute, and is therefore not left to the discretion or supervision of the judge.

40. Indeed, according to the Grand Chamber of the Criminal Division of the Court of Cassation which examined section 53 of the Criminal Code in another case (paragraph 19 above), the judgment convicting the person does not have to make a mention of the disenfranchisement for it to be applicable.

41. Moreover, unlike the situation in Italy which was examined by the Grand Chamber in its judgment in the case of Scoppola (no. 3), the measure restricting the right to vote in Turkey is indiscriminate in its application in that it does not take into account the nature or gravity of the offence, the length of the prison sentence ­– leaving aside the suspended sentences shorter than one year (see paragraph 14 above) – or the individual circumstances of the convicted persons. The Turkish legislation contains no express provisions categorising or specifying any offences for which disenfranchisement is foreseen (see, a contrario, Scoppola (no. 3) [GC], cited above, § 105).

42. The Court does not consider that the sole requirement of the element of “intent” in the commission of the offence is sufficient to lead it to conclude that the current legal framework adequately protects the rights in question and does not impair their very essence or deprive them of their effectiveness. To that end, it disagrees with the Government that the legal framework takes into account the nature of the offence (see paragraph 29 above). Beyond submitting that the offences committed intentionally are “stronger”, the Government have not sought to explain how and why excluding all persons convicted of having intentionally committed offences was reconcilable with the underlying purposes of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (see Scoppola (no. 3) [GC], cited above, § 84).

43. In any event, the Court observes that a similar legal framework, in fact one more favourable to prisoners, has already been examined by the Court in its judgment in the above-mentioned case of Frodl. In Austria, only prisoners who have committed with intent one or more criminal offences and been sentenced with final effect to a term of imprisonment of more than one year, forfeit the right to vote.

44. Furthermore, the Court observes that the seriousness of the offences committed by the applicant in the case of Scoppola (no. 3) was one of the factors taken into account by the Grand Chamber in reaching its conclusion that the disenfranchisement in the Italian system was not applied automatically or indiscriminately (§ 107). In the present case, the offence committed by the applicant was drawing cheques without having sufficient funds in his account. As such, the Court considers that the applicant’s case illustrates the indiscriminate application of the restriction even to persons convicted of relatively minor offences. The Court observes in this connection that drawing cheques without having sufficient funds in the bank account no longer carries a prison sentence (see paragraph 18 in “Relevant Domestic Law and Practice” above).

45. Furthermore, having regard to the nature of the offence committed by the applicant, the Court is also unable to see any rational connection between the sanction and the conduct and circumstances of the applicant. It reiterates in this connection that the severe measure of disenfranchisement must not be resorted to lightly and that the principle of proportionality requires a discernible and sufficient link between the sanction and the conduct and circumstances of the individual concerned (see Hirst (no. 2) [GC], cited above, § 71).

46. In light of the above, the Court cannot conclude that the legislature in Turkey has shown the requisite concern which, according to the Grand Chamber in the above-mentioned case of Scoppola (no.3), should exist in order to adjust the application of the measure to the particular circumstances of each case by taking into account such factors as the gravity of the offence committed and the conduct of the offender (ibid. § 106).

47. The Court concludes that the automatic and indiscriminate application of the harsh measure in Turkey on a vitally important Convention right must be seen as falling outside any acceptable margin of appreciation, and that there has been a breach of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 in the present case.

II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF PROTOCOL NO. 1 IN CONJUNCTION WITH ARTICLE 14 OF THE CONVENTION
48. The applicant argued that his disenfranchisement as a convicted prisoner was discriminatory.

49. The Court considers that this part of the application may be declared admissible. However, having regard to its conclusion above under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1, it finds that no separate issue arises under Article 14 of the Convention (see Hirst (no.2) [GC], cited above, § 87).III. OTHER ALLEGED

VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
50. Lastly, the applicant complained of a violation of Articles 6 and 13 of the Convention.

51. Having regard to the documents in its possession, the Court finds that this part of the application does not disclose any appearance of a violation of the Convention provisions. It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded and should be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention.

IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
52. Article 41 of the Convention provides:
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

A. Damage
53. The applicant claimed 3,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

54. The Government considered that the finding of a violation would be sufficient to remedy any non-pecuniary damage.

55. Having regard to the circumstances of the case, the Court agrees with the Government and considers that the finding of a violation constitutes sufficient just satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant (see Hirst (no.2) [GC], cited above, §§ 93-94).

B. Costs and expenses
56. The applicant claimed EUR 912.50 for the costs and expenses incurred before the domestic courts and EUR 2,450 for those incurred before the Court. In support of his claim the applicant submitted to the Court a detailed breakdown of the costs incurred by him and his legal representative.

57. The Government thought that the applicant claimed EUR 6,362.50, and considered that sum to be excessive and unsupported by adequate documentation. They also argued that no awards could be made for the applicant’s costs and expenses incurred at the national level.

58. According to the Court’s case-law, an applicant is entitled to the reimbursement of costs and expenses only in so far as it has been shown that these have been actually and necessarily incurred and are reasonable as to quantum. In response to the Government’s argument concerning the costs and expenses relating to the proceedings at the national level, the Court reiterates that, if it finds that there has been a violation of the Convention, it may award the applicant the costs and expenses incurred before the national courts for the prevention or redress of the violation (see Société Colas Est and Others v. France, no. 37971/97, § 56, ECHR 2002‑III, and the cases cited therein). In the present case the applicant brought the substance of his Convention rights to the attention of the national authorities (see paragraph 7 above). In the light of the foregoing, the Court considers that the applicant has a valid claim in respect of part of the costs and expenses incurred at the national level.

59. Regard being had to the documentation in its possession and the above criteria, the Court considers it reasonable to award the sum of EUR 3,000 covering costs under all heads. From this sum should be deducted the EUR 850 granted to the applicant by way of legal aid under the Council of Europe’s legal aid scheme (see paragraph 2 above).

C. Default interest
60. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Declares the complaints under Article 14 of the Convention and Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention admissible and the remainder of the application inadmissible;

2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention;

3. Holds that there is no need to examine the complaint under Article 14 of the Convention;

4. Holds that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction for any non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant;

5. Holds
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 3,000 (three thousand euros), less the EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros) granted by way of legal aid, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, in respect of his costs and expenses;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

6. Dismisses the remainder of the applicant’s claim for just satisfaction.

Case of Ahmet Atahür Söyler v. Turkey
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Guido Raimondi, President,
Danutė Jočienė,
Peer Lorenzen,
András Sajó,
Işıl Karakaş,
Nebojša Vučinić,
Helen Keller, judges,
and Stanley Naismith, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 27 August 2013,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date

Protest in Turkey: "It is feared a violent reaction"

Kader Kadem | 06:26 | 0 Comments
SonneInKreuzberg: This situation does the risk of escalation and explosion of Turkish civil society?
In a chat with readers of Monde.fr, Elise Massicard, the French Institute of Anatolian Studies in Istanbul, analyzes the consequences of the events in Turkey.

Borzu Why Erdogan denies he heard the protesters? He treats them as "scum" and seems to ignore what they have to say!

Until now, Erdogan has not listened to the claims raised in the dispute. He had already done so before in other cases. In addition, there are few institutionalized in Turkey that can make these claims hear channels.

Erdogan delegitimize the claims calling people mobilized manipulated by interest groups, foreign forces, or by calling them "vandals" groups.

From his stance, he wants to give the impression of a statesman who knows where it goes and who does not intend to give in to pressure it considers marginal. And mode of action of political protesters, with occupation of public places, yet prohibited allows Erdogan to delegitimize a little more.

Since he was elected with an overwhelming majority, he sees himself as the democratic representation of citizens. Therefore, he did not listen to the claims expressed by non-legally qualified marginal groups that, despite the magnitude of the events.

SonneIn Kreuzberg: This situation does the risk of escalation and explosion of Turkish civil society?

The situation is tense, and trends observed in the polarization. Two points: what's new in the movement that is expressed is that it brings a lot of opinions, different currents: Kemalists (supporters of the authoritarian and strictly secular Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal), the more organizations to the left, pure nationalists, feminists, even Muslims anticapitalist ...

It should be added that many people do not recognize themselves in a particular group, which are quite liberal opinion. But today, there is risk of bursting of the coalition, which is pretty unlikely.

Second point: there is a polarization between those who were mobilized and supported these mobilizations and supporters of the AKP, the ruling party. Polarization with mutual incomprehension because the mainstream media have also déligitimé mobilization, with the risk we've seen in some places clashes between civilians. For example, last Thursday, in a city of the region of the Black Sea, Rize, demonstrators supporting the cause of Gezi sea were attacked by activists of the AKP. Moreover, sporadically in some areas, we have mobilized clashes between groups and against-demonstrations.

TomEkin: Should we fear violent clashes between supporters of the AKP and protesters during rallies under the AKP this weekend?

It is not impossible at all. You should know that currently, we are debating whether to delay these rallies because the tension is palpable. And we have events in cities across the country continue, which are more or less suppressed by location. It is possible that violent clashes occur during these gatherings, or in conjunction with them.

Moks: Do you think that the media exaggerate a little challenge? For proof, no media to tell the tranquility of the place today ...

The mainstream media in Turkey have very little relayed mobilizations and were widely criticized by protesters for it.

Guest: Demonstrations are they really representative of the whole of the Turkish population?

They gave the image of a violent protest. Part of Turkish society is not aware of the magnitude of the challenge. For their part, have mobilized massive appeal to the international media and social networks. The information is also an issue of conflict. In particular, the demonstrations taking place outside of Istanbul are very poorly covered and relayed, both in Turkey and abroad.

Nahas: The Erdogan authority can be challenged within the AKP?

Several officials of the AKP government adopted more conciliatory positions as Erdogan, especially while he was on a diplomatic trip abroad last week. It is difficult to know if it is a division of roles internally or real dissonance. Since the return of Erdogan, his closest advisors reaffirmed their cohesion around it.

David: President Gul seems to take the floor against Erdogan calling for dialogue and calm ...

The differences in approach between Erdogan and Gul are not new. In several cases, when Erdogan adopted a firm attitude, President Gül had a less clear-cut attitude. But several times since the coming to power of the AKP, in times of crisis in particular, the two men agreed and allocated roles.

At the level of discourse and style, Gul, actually, has a conciliatory position. But that did not prevent the enactment last Monday, the impugned legislation which regulates the sale of alcohol. So, the stock level, we do not see real dissonance.

Ersin: The fall of the government is feasible?

One of the slogans chanted during demonstrations and rallies is a call for the resignation of the government. However, this seems unlikely, given that he has not made any concessions so far.

Another hypothesis is that early elections. To date, it also seems unlikely. If elections were held soon, the AKP probably would win. The opposition parties do not have to present sufficient voting power to change the political balance.

Claudio Marraccini: I come from a family of Levantine living in Izmir for over four centuries. Why do European countries and the United States do not condemn most firmly drifts Erdogan that affect individual freedoms?

International pressure is sustained for several days, either side of the leaders of the European Union, the United States and several European countries. On the one hand, critics are bright, especially on police repression of protests. However, different countries may fear the risk of political destabilization in a very complex international environment already, especially in Syria. This was after a meeting with EU officials Erdogan adopted a more moderate discourse, for a time.

The economic dimension is also important. The Istanbul Stock Exchange fell sharply in recent days, and losses in economic terms, in tourism and others are consistent. The government intends to restore the image of Turkey in restoring order.

Alex: What is the position of the military vis-à-vis the islamistion the country army is supposed to be the guarantor of secularism?

The army is largely absent events. No statement was made. In the current state of forces, a military intervention seems unlikely.

Pierre C: Who in the opposition could bring all these ways and form a real opposition to Erdogan?

The BDP, Kurdish nationalist party, is not involved in the demonstrations. It is engaged in the process of settlement of the Kurdish issue in progress, and does not wish to oppose the government.

The Kemalist party, while supporting the mobilization is divided internally between a liberal group and a Turkish nationalist group, and just to capitalize on the protest. For now, the challenge of the last days does not seem to lead to a reconfiguration of the opposition supporter level. It is unclear how the dissatisfaction and demands that were expressed can be relayed in the partisan arena.

KZ: Yesterday demonstrators to express their support to the protesters lawyers were arrested in a completely illegal. One more example of the authoritarian Prime Minister ...

Dozens of lawyers were arrested yesterday in the courthouse, on the grounds they chanted slogans in a public building. They were remanded in custody, and then released. Today, hundreds of lawyers protested against these actions in Istanbul and Ankara.

Lakrymo: Is Erdogan's strategy, which is to finally get a part of the population against another, can work?

Supports Erdogan, in terms of numbers, are more important. On this popular base that relies to assert its leadership and firmness. On several occasions, he said that the minority can not, in a democracy, to impose its will on the majority.

Taf: There is much talk of a "Turkish Spring" in reference to the Arab Spring. But would not you rather see a link between these events and in May 1968 in France?

You can see the similarities: the role of youth in the context of a long-established power, a dispute about the lifestyles, the starting tight enough to claim that expand to demands for more freedoms. All in a more favorable economic environment.

Police disperse protesters gathered in Taksim

Kader Kadem | 06:09 | 0 Comments
protesters occupied the Gezi Istanbul Park, two hours after a new ultimatum Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish police evacuated Saturday, June 15 in the evening thousands of protesters occupied the Gezi Istanbul Park, two hours after a new ultimatum Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordering them vacate.

The police entered the park, the bastion of anti-government revolt that shakes Turkey for two weeks, and emptied of all its occupants by firing tear gas grenade. Many tents in which occupants were preparing to spend another night were destroyed during the operation, and arrested several protesters.

Shortly before, the police had evacuated, first with water cannons and tear gas with several protesters who had gathered in Taksim Square, chanting hostile slogans Erdogan. In a speech near Ankara to tens of thousands of his supporters, the prime minister launched in late afternoon a new ultimatum to the occupants of the park, requiring him to vacate the premises by Sunday.

"Stay there has no meaning because the case is now in the hands of justice [...]. I do not know what will be the decision of the court but to slice or against [the maintenance of the park ] there will be a popular vote in Istanbul [...] and we will respect the outcome of the vote, "had said the Prime Minister in particular.

"If brothers are still there, please leave because the park belongs to the people of Istanbul. This is not a busy area for illegal organizations," insisted the head of government. "Nobody can intimidate us, [...] we do not take order or instruction from anyone except God," he shouted to the demonstrators.

On May 31, a violent police intervention in Gezi Park to evacuate opposed to its destruction announced militants escalated into widespread movement of political protest against the Turkish Islamic-conservative government in power in Turkey since 2002.

MEPs say: Expression and media must be free

Kader Kadem | 03:54 | 0 Comments
MEPs are deeply concerned at the disproportionate and excessive use of force by Turkish police to break up peaceful and legitimate protests in Istanbul's Gezi Park
MEPs are deeply concerned at the disproportionate and excessive use of force by Turkish police to break up peaceful and legitimate protests in Istanbul's Gezi Park. In a resolution voted by a show of hands on Thursday 13 June, they warn against the use of harsh measures against peaceful protesters and said prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan must take a unifying and conciliatory position.

Those responsible for the police violence must be brought to justice, detained peaceful protestors immediately released and the victims compensated, MEPs say. While welcoming the moderate response to the protests by president Abdullah Gül and apologies by deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc, they deplore the unwillingness of the Turkish government and Mr Erdogan to take steps towards reconciliation, to apologise and to understand the reactions of a segment of the Turkish population.

Inclusive society
The protesters increasingly feel that minority voices lack representation and parts of the Turkish population are dissatisfied with the recent lifestyle regulation, MEPs say. They stress that in an inclusive, pluralistic democracy, the majority has a responsibility to include opposition and civil society in the decision-making process.

The holding of peaceful and legitimate protests in itself testifies to the vibrancy of Turkish civil society but Turkey must further improve its democratic institutions, the rule of law and the observance of fundamental freedoms, MEPs say.

Expression and media must be free
MEPs are also concerned about the deterioration in press freedom, including acts of censorship and growing self-censorship within the Turkish media. Mainstream Turkish media remained silent about the demonstrations and Twitter users were arrested, MEPs note. They stress the importance of an independent press for a democratic society and the role of the judiciary in enhancing press freedom, citing the high number of journalists in prison and on trial.

Eroglu: Annan Plant; Varosha is part of a comprehensive

Kader Kadem | 06:21 | 0 Comments
ECHR, ECOHR, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (06.06.13) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has argued that the Annan Plan was not a solution plan for Cyprus and that in the contrary it was a plan which would create unrest. Replying to the questions of Akademi Politik magazine, Eroglu argued that the important thing right now is what has been discussed with the Greek Cypriot side during the ongoing process since 2008.

He noted: "The fundamental issue we put emphasis on is to make an agreement having as starting point the existing realities in Cyprus. Otherwise new areas of conflict will come up and what you call agreement will be returned into a document which creates the ground for conflict".

Replying to a question on the Annan Plan, Eroglu alleged: "The Annan Plan belongs to the past. Of course, it is possible to be benefited from all the documents prepared until today, from all the framework agreements. However, as it is written in the Annan Plan itself, it has ceased to exist because it was rejected by one of the sides in the referendum. In spite of the fact that the current President of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiades had carried out a 'yes' campaign during the referendum process for the Annan Plan in 2004, now he is in a position of being the main opponent of the Annan Plan. The National Unity Party under my leadership in 2004, had carried out a campaign for the 'no' vote. In my view, the Annan Plan is not a solution plan. On the contrary, it was a plan that would create unrest".

Eroglu alleged that two "states" exist now in Cyprus, even though the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, is recognized only by Turkey and claimed: "No one can change this reality. Two states are living side by side at the moment. We will see. I repeat: A solution is possible having as starting point the existing realities in Cyprus".

Asked to comment on the proposal as regards the return of the occupied fenced city of Varosha to its legal Greek Cypriot owners and the opening of the occupied Famagusta port under the auspices of the EU, Eroglu alleged:

"The issue of Varosha has come many times onto the agenda in the one way or the other, but at the moment for us it is an issue that should be included in the comprehensive solution. The view put forward by motherland Turkey on the issue of the opening of the ports is the lifting of the embargo imposed by the Greek Cypriots for a port in the TRNC in return for the opening of a port in Turkey for the Greek Cypriot side. If they come to this point, it will happen, if not, no conclusion could be reached".

Turkish columnists on the Gezi Park protests (ECoHR)

Kader Kadem | 06:07 | 0 Comments
Echr, Ecohr, Various columnists commented on the developments in Turkey during the last few days.Various columnists commented on the developments in Turkey during the last few days.
Under the title "The one-man show has ended", Emre Uslu wrote in Zaman (06.06.13):

"[?] the [Justice and Development Party] AKP, particularly in recent years, has adopted a strategy promoting him as the leader of the Muslim world. Strategy has been put in place since Turkey's "one minute" crisis with Israel emphasizing [Recep Tayyip] Erdo an's role as leader and his appeal to the Arab street above all have generated excitement among his followers about his leadership abilities.

It seems the reason the AKP has formulated its strategy around the character of Erdo an is largely to capitalize on the vulnerability of the opposition: its comparatively weaker leaders. Rather than putting issues before the people, AKP strategists bring the charismatic prime minister before them, highlighting the differences between Erdo an and the opposition party leaders. This serves...to the easy manipulation of political discourse to suit the ruling party.

"Turning politics into a one-man show necessitates playing with hot and divisive issues that drive wedges into society. The abortion issue is one such issue, dividing people sharply into two camps: liberals who support abortion and the larger segment of society on the one hand, making up around 70 percent of the population, and conservatives who would join the AKP and Erdo an on the other. By enlivening such issues and using Erdo an's charm to manipulate political discourse the AKP strategists strive to forge a more conservative society and to galvanize those conservative elements around Erdo an... It seems the AKP strategy to build their future around the performance, the outlook, the vision of Erdo an is in fact a fatal strategy, one that not only enhances a perception of Turkey as a conservative nation but is a risk to its wellbeing also. It is a strategy that turns politics into a one-man show.

The protests in Gezi Park in 0 stanbul are just an outcome of this one-man show. The protesters are not particularly against the AKP government, they are not against Abdullah G?l for instance, and there are AKP supporters among them. What they are against is Erdo an and his bossy language in politics.

The nature of the protests indicates that the AKP strategists failed to sees the rising public anger toward Erdo an as they try to promote Erdo an as the one and only true politician. While the AKP strategists underlining there is no alternative to Erdo an, therefore, building their strategy to remove all political alternatives from the scene and keep the opposition weak, the Gezi protests mobilized peoples' anti-Erdo an sentiments.

This is an absolute disaster for Erdo an and his team. They need to alter their strategy. Either they need to carve out a friendlier and welcoming leader who plays the role of Mother Teresa and expect Erdo an to play such a role successfully, or they need to find a new legitimate target for Erdo an to fight against to mobilize the AKP supporters around him one more time. [& ] I think it would not be a mistake to predict: the one-man show has ended." Under the title "The Battle of Taksim and beyond", Burak Bekdil wrote in Hurriyet (05.06.13):

"[& ] Once again, Mr. Erdo an looked amusingly unconvincing when he tagged hundreds of thousands of protesters as "looters, marginal and members of illegal organizations;" or when he blamed nationwide protests on "foreign enemies who envy Turkey." But for the deaf, useful and disposable idiots, Mr. Erdo an once again clarified his understanding of democracy: Dissent is legal only when expressed at the ballot box! (His words).

The past four days were no doubt "scary" for Mr. Erdo an and his men, although one government MP shrugged off the protests, saying "they think they can start a revolution with their drunken heads." Honorable members of parliament; the drunken heads made the headlines all around the world except Turkey where "top news channels" preferred to broadcast cooking programs at the same moments their foreign colleagues were covering the protests in every detail. Self-censorship could not have been exposed better.

The Battle of Taksim was a psychological victory for the protesters. Now they are more confident than before that in the next battle the police will have to kill them, not just spray them with tear gas ? unless of course the police launched a discreet witch-hunt in the days ahead and arrested thousands of dissidents on charges of being members of various unheard of terrorist organizations. We know from his own statements that there is hardly a very thin line between what dissent and terrorism mean to Mr Erdo an. [& ] "On the other hand, one of Erdogan's supporters and assistant, Yalcin Akdogan, who is writing under the pseudonym Yasin Dogan, wrote the following in Yeni Safak (05.06.13) under the title "Opportunists and Fallen Masks":

"Different circles seeking to take advantage of the incidents in Taksim all have different agendas. Everybody wants something different?

On the one hand there are regular people enraged for such reasons as "trees, shopping malls and police violence." [?] On the other hand there is the CHP [Republican People's Party] and its supporters who failed to cope with the government at the ballot box and who are now trying to topple the government by gathering all the marginal elements in a status quo bloc. Among them are illegal organizations known for their actions that verge on terrorism, and for the law and order problems they are creating.

Some are trying to bring down the government, harm it and weaken it. Others are trying to teach the government a lesson or warn it. It can be seen that those who are over-critical of the government, especially just recently, have succumbed to the thrill of "let us slap them a few times while we are at it."

What is really sad about this business is the way certain liberal/left-wing/democrat persons who are criticizing the government for shortcomings in democracy or style and manner, are acting in unison with a bloc that fights against just these ideals and values, and they are applauding them.

Those circles delivering an environmental message or criticizing the government's style did indeed perform a function at one stage of this process. The other stage of this process sees a different band that is trying to bring down the elected government by engaging in political schemes and provocation. They are opposed to the core to the 12 Sept referendum, to the new constitution and to the [Kurd] solution process. This bloc, which is neo-nationalist and to some degree fascist, would drown our veteran democrats in two inches of water given half a chance.

While these veteran democrats are criticizing the government with not being democratic enough and with not taking progressive steps, these neo-nationalist are subjecting the government to flak calling them traitors. It is nothing short of irony to see these two different mindsets working side by side on diametrically opposed pretexts.

All of them are waging a fight at the center of which they have placed Tayyip Erdogan. Some people cannot stand his political existence. Some want to scratch his charisma and rattle him. Those people who are tagging on to the status quo's coattails saying, "They have become large in number, too" are reacting in such a way as to be setting a trap for themselves.

Some of the statements made by Selahattin Demirtas warning his own people plus the warnings made by Devlet Bahceli are the kind that will go down in history. [..]

There are plenty of opportunists with personal interest or seeking to gain political ground by benefiting from all the smoke. They will be noted as a disgrace and a scream.

The CHP for its part is going to pay the price both legally and politically for the damage, the provocation and the plot.

The games of those who want to organize politics by propagating fear are plain for all to see. Let nobody assume that it is not known or understood who is trying to do what, or what kind of underhanded manipulation is being attempted. This affair has removed the masks so that everybody's true face can better be seen."

Police violence the revolt; Occupy Taksim Square

Kader Kadem | 05:59 | 0 Comments
 the police are in the viewfinder, accused of brutality against protesters TurkeyTension remained high in Turkey on Wednesday morning on the sixth day of protests against the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Again, thousands of people took to the streets of Istanbul and Ankara. Despite the "apology" from the government to victims of police brutality the previous day, thousands of protesters stormed at night Istanbul's Taksim Square, where they chanted slogans calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister. Apologies all necessary that the repression of forces is in the viewfinder.

Indeed, those are the police violence, as thousands of people, led Tuncay Alcpinar to occupy Taksim Square. At age 39, he was a victim of false imprisonment. He spent the year 2011 in detention. Overnight, he was arrested, accused of drug trafficking, and imprisoned twelve months without trial, without any presumption of innocence.

"I had to wait a year in prison. A year there is finally a confrontation in court with a police officer. It happened. He did not even look at me. He just said that n was not me, "testifies to the Turk in Europe one microphone. According to him, the Islamic-conservative power has increased repression. "Since Erdogan (Prime Minister, ed) is in power, it became systematic. They put you in jail. Then they ask you to take care of yourself to prove that you're not guilty. Only not possible, such a system, "laments Tuncay Alcpinar.

For several days, the police are in the viewfinder, accused of brutality against protesters. "You see the events: the police violence hit hard but it always ends up staying in prison violence is psychological And that remains forever.." Said the Turk, told Europe 1. Tuncay Alcpinar is far from alone. It is well aware when discussing with students on the barricades. Too familiar with the problem: more than 2,800 of them are currently in prison in Turkey.

Taksim Square - Turkey Spring; Violent clashes in Istanbul

Kader Kadem | 09:27 | 0 Comments
Taksim Square in central Istanbul to disperse hundreds of protesters in second day of violent protests against the Turkish government..The tension rose a notch in the night. Turkish police used tear gas Saturday morning near the Taksim Square in central Istanbul to disperse hundreds of protesters in second day of violent protests against the Turkish government..

Other incidents reported to Besiktas

After a long face-to-face with protesters who held a barricade in the Istiqlal Avenue, a pedestrian shopping street that leads to Taksim Square, the police fired a volley of tear gas to disperse the crowd . Other incidents were reported earlier in the morning in the Besiktas district, where a group of protesters came from the Anatolian side of the Turkish metropolis crossed a bridge over the dam and was dispersed by the police, Turkish media reported.

The protest, one of the largest directed against the Islamic-conservative power since taking office in 2002, is part of a demonstration against an urban development project challenged in Istanbul and several dozen wounded dozens Friday in Istanbul.

By late morning, the main roads leading to Taksim Square were barred by large police forces. After a day and a night of riots, this place famous for being one of the traditional appointment of protest in Istanbul, and the surrounding streets were littered with debris Saturday morning and shops have reopened their doors very carefully to residents and tourists. Dozens of protesters were injured in clashes on Friday, citing Amnesty International for its part "over a hundred" injured.

Political protest

The authorities gave no accurate count. Friday late afternoon, the governor of the city Huseyin Avni Mutlu merely indicate that 12 people remained hospitalized late in the day, including a woman who has a fractured skull, and at least 63 people were arrested.

The movement began Friday at dawn with the forceful intervention of the police to dislodge a few hundred activists who had occupied for three days Gezi Park in Taksim Square, in order to prevent the uprooting of 600 trees as part of an urban development project highly contested.

Rioted through social networks, community activists flocked to lend a hand to protesters and denounce the policy of the Islamic-conservative government in power since 2002. The clashes continued until dawn. "The trees, it's just the straw that broke the camel's back. People are sick and tired of everything this government is doing to them, "said the night a young protester.

By Friday evening, the challenge side of Istanbul has spread to other cities, such as Izmir (west), Antalya (south) or the capital Ankara, which are incident between the police to demonstrators who wanted march on parliament. Everywhere, the protesters denounced the repression in Istanbul and accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of violations of civil liberties.

Erdogan accused of trying to "Islamize" Turkish society

The political opposition has taken over these criticisms by flaunting the protesters. The chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), the main rival of the government, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Erdogan called the police to withdraw the streets of Istanbul. At the call of social networks and the CHP, a protest is planned for Saturday afternoon on the Asian side of Istanbul.

If the per capita income has tripled in Turkey since the coming to power of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002, Erdogan is accused of authoritarian excesses and wanting to "Islamize" Turkish society. Last week, the passing of a law restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol has raised the ire of liberal circles. Silent on these events since Friday, the head of the government said on Wednesday it would not back down. "Do what you want, we decided," he shouted to his critics.

A Reyhanli, Retaliation Against Syrian Refugees

Kader Kadem | 14:58 | 0 Comments
Turkey was hit by a double attack on May 11 in the city of Reyhani,Turkey was hit by a double attack on May 11 in the city of Reyhani, which hosts many Syrian refugees. For the latter, it became almost impossible to cope with the resentment of the population.

In the moments following the explosion of the first car on May 11, 2013, people rushed to the central square of Reyhanli to help the wounded. That's when the second car exploded. "Fifteen men died before my eyes," says Kasseim, 26, ran the Syrian Center for Media, where his office is located.

Many residents then fled, believing that they were bombs coming from the other side of the border. When they returned to the scene, he says, armed with knives, belts and people were attacking the Syrians even though they helped out victims from the rubble.
The people of Reyhanli are angry and their reaction is justified. The two explosions killed 46 people and injured more than 100. They ravaged the city center, destroying countless shops and offices. Of the 60,000 inhabitants of the city, there are few who have not been affected by the enormous human and material losses they have caused.

Internationally, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, attributed the attack to agents of the regime of Bashar Assad, while Damascus rejected the accusation by criminalizing terrorist groups. But Reyhanli, anger towards other players. Many people blame the government for provoking the attacks by supporting Syrian rebels and show the media the finger.

Some refugees prefer to return to Syria

However, some people, the main culprits are the many Syrians who, seeking refuge in the city to escape the atrocities of the other side of the border, have pushed the regime of Bashar al-Assad to take targeted .

Russia Calls for Calm on Tense Turkish-Syria Border

Kader Kadem | 14:46 | 0 Comments
Russia Calls for Calm on Tense Turkish-Syria BorderRussian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov has urged restraint between Turkey and Syria, calling for calm on the tense Turkish-Syrian border.
“We believe both Syrian and Turkish authorities should exercise maximum restraint in this situation, taking into account the rising number of radicals among the Syrian opposition who can intentionally provoke conflicts on the border," said Gatilov on Tuesday.

Gatilov also warned NATO and world powers not to seek ways to intervene in the Syrian war or set up buffer zones between opposition and government forces.

“In our contacts with partners in NATO and in the region, we are calling on them not to seek pretexts for carrying out a military scenario or introducing initiatives such as humanitarian corridors or buffer zones," Gatilov said, according to the Interfax news agency.

Turkey has floated the idea of setting up "safe zones" inside Syria to protect civilians.

Ankara has repeatedly complained of artillery and gunfire spilling over its border, and last week signaled it would take action if there were a repeat of a mortar strike on its territory from inside Syria.

Iraq Tells Turkey to Stop Pursuing PKK Terrorists Over Border

Kader Kadem | 14:46 | 0 Comments
Iraq asked Turkey on Tuesday to stop attacking terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) sheltering across the border in northern Iraq, as Turkey prepares to extend its internal mandate for the raids.
The Baghdad government's power over Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region is limited, but the comments are an indication of tensions with Turkey, which has given refuge to Iraq's fugitive vice president.

The Turkish government on Monday asked parliament to renew the mandate, expiring on Oct. 17, under which it has mounted mostly aerial raids on the PKK bases in Iraq's Kurdish region. Parliament is due to discuss it on Thursday.

"The cabinet objects to this motion, which contradicts the principle of good neighbourly relations," Iraqi government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said in a statement.

"It rejects the presence of any foreign bases or troops on Iraqi territory and the incursion of any foreign military forces into Iraqi lands on the pretext of hunting down rebels," he added, complaining of a "violation of Iraqi sovereignty and security".

He said the cabinet had advised parliament to cancel or refuse to renew any pre-existing agreements that would permit foreign states to enter Iraqi territory.

ECHR; Ümit Diriöz Turkey (No: 38560/04)

Kader Kadem | 05:57 | 0 Comments
The applicant, Ümit Diriöz, is a Turkish national who was born in 1977 and is currently being held in Bayrampaşa Prison in Istanbul (Turkey)The fact that the prosecutor stood on a raised platform in the courtroom did not infringe the principle of equality of arms.
In today’s Chamber judgment in the case Diriöz v. Turkey (application no. 38560/04), which is not final1, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
No violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the complaint by an accused that there had been an infringement of the principle of equality of arms in so far as the prosecutor stood on a raised platform whereas he and his lawyer had been placed, as was the rule, at a lower level in the courtroom. The Court considered that whilst this conferred a privileged physical position on the prosecutor in the courtroom, it did not place the accused in a disadvantageous position regarding the defence of his interests. The Court also reiterated that neither the letter nor the spirit of Article 6 of the Convention prevented a person from waiving of his or her own free will the right to legal assistance during police custody.

Principal facts
The applicant, Ümit Diriöz, is a Turkish national who was born in 1977 and is currently being held in Bayrampaşa Prison in Istanbul (Turkey). On 9 September 2000, during an altercation between several individuals, he fired a pistol several times. Four people were injured and a fifth, who had had nothing to do with the altercation, was hit by a stray bullet and subsequently died. On 12 October 2000 the public prosecutor issued an arrest warrant against Mr Diriöz, who had fled.
On 14 January 2001 Mr Diriöz was arrested while in possession of a forged identity card and placed in police custody. The custody report signed on that day indicated that he had been informed, among other things, of his right to legal assistance. In his statement drawn up on 16 January 2001 Mr Diriöz ticked the box “I do not wish to be assisted by a lawyer”.

Deficiencies in effective access to justice in Turkey

Kader Kadem | 05:56 | 0 Comments
Turkey illegal organization lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individualBroad laws against terrorism and threats to the state, political pressure, and inadequacies in the judicial system limited access to justice, as did lengthy pretrial detention and lack of transparency in the prosecution of cases related to state security.
The time lag between arrests and presentation of indictments; leaks of information, evidence, or statements; restricted defense access to evidence put forward by the prosecution; and the secrecy of the investigation orders also fueled concerns about the effectiveness of judicial protections for suspects.

The close connection between prosecutors and judges gave the appearance of impropriety and unfairness in criminal cases, while the broad authority granted to prosecutors and judges contributed to inconsistent and uncertain application of criminal laws.

During the year the government adopted judicial reforms to speed up and improve judicial processes.

Pentagon: The Turks made the call (Uludere)

Kader Kadem | 02:57 | 0 Comments
Turkey Turkish Hakkari Civil Bomb PKK ULUDERE: U.S. military officers at the Fusion Cell in Ankara couldn't tell whether the men, bundled in heavy jackets, were civilians or guerrilla fighters. But their location in an area frequented by guerrilla fighters raised suspicions. The Americans alerted their Turkish counterparts.

Turkey—After winding along a narrow mountain ridge, a caravan of 38 men and mules paused on the Turkish-Iraqi border. Then they heard the propellers overhead. Minutes later, Turkish military aircraft dropped bombs that killed all but four of the men.

The strike in late December was meant to knock out Kurdish separatist fighters. Instead it killed civilians smuggling gasoline, a tragic blunder in Turkey's nearly three-decade campaign against the guerrillas. The killings ignited protests across the country and prompted wide-ranging official inquiries.

The civilian toll also set off alarms at the Pentagon: It was a U.S. Predator drone that spotted the men and pack animals, officials said, and American officers alerted Turkey.

The U.S. drone flew away after reporting the caravan's movements, leaving the Turkish military to decide whether to attack, according to an internal assessment by the U.S. Defense Department, described to The Wall Street Journal. "The Turks made the call," a senior U.S. defense official said. "It wasn't an American decision."

The U.S. role, which hasn't previously been reported, revealed the risks in a new strategy for extending American influence around the globe. It raises an outstanding question for the White House and Congress: How far do we entrust allies with our deadly drone technology?

Koç and Demir Turkey (26793/08)

Kader Kadem | 16:18 | 0 Comments
Koç and Demir v. Turkey (no. 26793/08). The applicants, Coşkun Koç and Turgay Demir, are Turkish nationals who were born in 1972 and 1977 respectively and live in Istanbul.

At the relevant time they were respectively a non-commissioned officer and a sergeant in the armed forces. On different dates they were placed in detention as a disciplinary measure. They complain that those sanctions were imposed by their military hierarchy and not by an independent and impartial tribunal. They rely on Articles 5 (right to liberty and security), 6 (right to a fair hearing) and 13 (right to an effective remedy).

Key to solving the Syrian impasse: Russia

Kader Kadem | 11:56 | 0 Comments
Turkey is preparing to host the second Friends of Syria meeting on April 1, following the first one in Tunisia, as the situation in its neighbor -- with which it shares an 877-kilometer-long border -- continues to be in complete “deadlock.” Just like the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people, Turkey has exhibited a strong will that Bashar al-Assad must leave the wheel of the country, but no significant option for how this can be done has emerged so far.

The fragmentation in the international community is bestowing extra life on the Assad regime, but also causing dozens of people to die every day. The death toll has already exceeded 8,000 according to United Nations statistics. The Syrian opposition, on the other hand, claims this number to be above 11,000. And the Assad regime says more than 2,000 security troops have died. In addition to deaths, there have also been increasing human rights violations and displacement of populations. Moreover, thousands of people are reported to have gone missing after they were arrested by Assad's troops. Currently, about 250,000 people have been displaced within the country while at least 30,000 people have sought shelter in neighboring countries.

Turkish air strike killed 36 civilians

Kader Kadem | 15:24 | 0 Comments
The deaths of 36 people, who may have been locals smuggling in goods from northern Iraq, killed in an overnight airstrike by Turkish warplanes in southeastern Turkey have led to doubts about the intelligence sources on which the military relied before conducting the operation.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik held a press conference Thursday evening, saying the incident was the result of an “operational accident” that was caused by a mistake or intelligence failure. He said both a legal and an administrative probe were underway to name those responsible for the deadly error. “If there was a mistake, it will not be covered up in any way and the necessary legal action will be taken.”

A statement from the Şırnak Governor's Office said 35 people were killed and another was injured in the airstrikes. However, hospital records indicate a death toll of 36.

The Turkish military released a statement Thursday that said the area struck was the Sinat-Haftanin region of northern Iraq, where the primary Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) bases are located and where there are no civilian inhabitants.

“Administrative and judicial investigations are underway and procedures are being followed with respect to the incident,” the General Staff said.

ECHR; Veli İsmail Altınok

Kader Kadem | 08:50 | 0 Comments
The applicant, Veli Ismail Altınok, is a Turkish national who was born in 1981 and lives inAdana. He was arrested on 12 April 2007 following a complaint alleging fraud andforgery. After being brought before the criminal court he was placed in pre-trialdetention. Relying on Article 5 § 4 (right to take proceedings to have the lawfulness ofdetention decided speedily by a court), he alleges that the lodging of an objection andthe procedure for automatic review of detention are ineffective. He also complains thatthe Assize Court did not give adequate reasons for ordering his continued detention anddismissing his objections. Relying on Article 5 § 5 (right to compensation), he complainsthat he did not have an effective remedy by which to obtain compensation. Altınok v. Turkey (no. 31610/08)

Turkey bombed military targets in Syria

Kader Kadem | 07:05 | 0 Comments
Turkey's military struck targets inside Syria on Wednesday in response to a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory which killed five Turkish civilians, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's office said in a statement.

Our armed forces in the border region responded immediately to this abominable attack in line with their rules of engagement; targets were struck through artillery fire against places in Syria identified by radar, the statement said.

"Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by the Syrian regime against our national security," it added.

Davutoğlu had also agreed with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the need for an emergency meeting of NATO members, the statement said.

A mortar bomb fired from Syria landed in a residential district of the southeastern Turkish town of Akçakale on Wednesday, killing a woman and four children from the same family and wounding at least 13 other people.

A cloud of dust and smoke rose up over low-rise buildings as residents ran to help the wounded. Others, infuriated by the increasing spillover of violence from Syria's civil war, took to the streets shouting protests against the local authorities.

Davutoğlu phoned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to brief him about the incident and also spoke with senior military officials and Syria crisis mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, his ministry said in a statement.

Davutoğlu signaled over the weekend that Turkey would take action if there was a repeat of a mortar strike which damaged homes and workplaces in Akçakale last Friday.

"It (latest mortar round) hit right in the middle of the neighbourhood. The wife and four children from the same family died," Ahmet Emin Meşhurgül, local head of the Turkish Red Crescent, told Reuters, adding he knew the victims personally.
 
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