Turkey to pay penalty over prison operation
This file photo shows judges of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). AFP PhotoThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey a total of 36,200 euros for an operation in a prison in the western province of Çanakkale in 2000, in which a gendarmerie and four prisoners died.
The 20 applicants, all women, complained of having been injured during the operation, and alleged that the use of force had been excessive and disproportionate. They referred in particular to Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.
The court decided that Article 3 had been procedurally violated in cases of the applicants Leyla Alp, Süreyya Bulut, Elif Yaş, Filiz Uyan and Gülay İncesu. The court also concluded that Article 2, related to the right to life, was procedurally violated in respect to another applicant, Meral Kıdır.
The European court ruled that Turkey had to pay 8,000 euros to Meral Kıdır and 5,000 euros each to Leyla Alp, Süreyya Bulut, Elif Yaş, Filiz Uyan and Gülay İncesu for non-pecuniary damage, and 3,200 euros to these six applicants jointly for costs and expenses.
In 2000, the government’s efforts to replace dormitory systems with cells caused a wave of protests in prisons around the country. Inmates in several prisons started a hunger strike on Nov. 19 of the same year and barricaded themselves against forceful relocation.
A security operation, called “Hayata Dönüş” (Return to Life), was subsequently launched on Dec. 19, with the participation of close to 10,000 soldiers and police officers. In the operation, tens of prisoners and two soldiers died.
Meanwhile, the ECHR also fined Turkey 66,150 euros for the disappearance of a man allegedly apprehended by soldiers in the southeastern province of Hakkari in 1995.