Euro court rules against Turkey for preventing inmates from corresponding in Kurdish
PARIS – Anadolu Agency
The European Court of Human Rights noted imn its ruling that there was no adequate legal framework on correspondence in other languages than Turkish in Turkey's legislation. REUTERS PhotoThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled against Turkey in a number of separate cases for not allowing inmates to correspond in Kurdish on the phone and by letters.
The court stated that Turkey has violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, judging the denial of correspondence in Kurdish as an interference with the right to a private and family life. All of the 11 applicants, whose cases were merged into a single case “Mehmet Nuri Özen and others v. Turkey,” had been prevented from sending letters or holding phone conversations in Kurdish.
The government, in its defense, claimed there had been interference, arguing that the correspondence was refused not due their content, but rather because they were not translated.
However, the court noted that there was no adequate legal framework on correspondence in other languages than Turkish in Turkey's legislation.
“The procedure was left entirely to the discretion of the prison authorities, who developed the practice of requiring such correspondence to be translated at the prisoners’ expense,” the court noted in its ruling, adding that this practice was not in line with the charter.
“The Court considers that such a practice, as applied in this case, is incompatible with Article 8 because it automatically excludes the protection afforded by that provision an entire category of private correspondence, which prisoners might wish to use,” the ruling said.
The court also fined Turkey 300 euros of compensation to four applicants and 500 euros to two other applicants.