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RIGHTS > European Court of Human Rights finds Turkey guilty in three cases

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey in three separate cases, it announced yesterday, upholding complaints brought against the country on the grounds that human rights were violated.

The EU judicial body fined Turkey 15,000 euros for its ruling on a trade union, Tüm Bel-Sen, formed by civil servants working for a number of local authorities, which alleged that it was denied the ability to negotiate collective agreements. 

“It [the union] entered into collective agreements with certain local authorities concerning, among other things, salaries. In accordance with those agreements, the local authorities paid their civil servants who were members of this trade union certain allowances in addition to their statutory salary,” the ECHR said in its ruling. 

“After examining the agreements, the Audit Court observed that the status of civil servants was determined by law and that civil servants could not receive any income other than the statutory income. It found that trade unions did indeed have the right to engage in collective bargaining in certain conditions, but not to directly enter into collective agreements with the authorities, as trade unions of ordinary contractual employees could with their employers.” 

In another decision, the ECHR ordered Turkey to pay 13,000 euros for violating “the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time” on its judiciary process with Selman Batmaz. 

Batmaz was suspected of assisting and belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and of taking part in an arson attack on a boat, and was arrested and placed in police custody on Oct. 12, 1992. She was brought before the National Security Court, which ordered her to be placed in pre-trial detention. In November 1997 the National Security Court ordered her to be released on bail and after this she obtained political refugee status in Germany. 

Turkey was also ordered to pay 1,500 euros to Bayram Güçlü, who was born in 1966 and is currently serving a prison sentence in Samsun for drug trafficking. 

Güçlü had complained that he had been denied access to a lawyer during his time in police custody in Turkey, and the EHCR ruled the Turkish authorities had indeed breached “the right to a fair trial” and “the right to legal assistance of one’s own choosing.”

February/19/2014

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