Euro Court fines Turkey 71,000 euros for citizen’s death in southeast
AFP PhotoThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey a total of 71,000 euros over the death of a citizen in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in 2007 for violating his right to life and failing to conduct an effective and independent investigation.
In the Özpolat and Others vs. Turkey case, the ECHR has fined Turkey over the July 14, 2007 death of Mehmet Özpolat, also stating that the investigation into the alleged lack of prompt medical treatment for Özpolat was insufficient.
Özpolat died on July 14, 2007, the day after his brother İskender Özpolat had also died. Police officers had surrounded the Özpolat family home in Diyarbakır after receiving reports that someone inside had been injured by a firearm. Mehmet Özpolat then appeared on the roof with a weapon but was neutralized by police, after which the public prosecutor applied to have him taken into police custody.
Complaining of stomach pains, Mehmet Özpolat was taken to hospital, where he died of a cervical hemorrhage the following day.
His death followed that of his brother İskender Özpolat, who was killed by police after refusing to come out of his home during the raid the day before, even starting to fire shots at the officers.
The public prosecutor’s office later opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of unintentional homicide, abuse of power, and failure to ensure the prompt transfer of an injured person to hospital.
However, on June 24, 2009 the public prosecutor’s office issued an order to discontinue the proceedings, stating that the police officer who had fired the fatal shot at İskender Özpolat had acted in self-defense.
However, as a result of the ECHR ruling, Turkey will pay the applicants jointly 65,000 euros for non-pecuniary damages and 6,000 euros for costs and expenses.