Court rules over 350,000 Turkish Liras indemnity for mortar shell victim on Syrian border
ŞANLIURFA – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoA court in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa has ruled for pecuniary and non-pecuniary compensation worth 365,000 Turkish Liras to the family of a local man who was killed when a mortar shell fired from Syria hit his home in the Ceylanpınar district on the Syrian border in 2013.
Upon a case opened by then 34-year-old victim İdris Akgül’s family against the Turkish Interior Ministry, a Şanlıurfa administrative court ruled for indemnities for Akgül’s wife, three children and 12 siblings, stating that the damages caused should be compensated as part of the “social risk principle” and that the administration could be held responsible “without a failure condition being sought.”
Akgül died after a mortar shell fired during a clash between Nusra Front and Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces in the northern Syria town of Ras al-Ayn – across the border from Ceylanpınar – hit his house while he was sleeping.
Opening a case on behalf of the Akgül family, lawyer Muhammed Neşet Girasun claimed the administration was responsible for the death of Akgül through a “heavy service failure” as it failed to comply with its constitutional duties and caused a violation of the right to life.
“There is 20-30 meter distance between Ceylanpınar and the Syrian border district of Rasulayn and these inhabited areas only have wire fences between them. Therefore those who live in Ceylanpınar were negatively affected by the civil war in Syria at a maximum level. While there needed to be a buffer zone in the region for the citizens’ security, the city needed to be cleared, evacuated and transferred… there have not been any measure taken. This lack of measures caused citizens who were unaware and busy with their daily lives to lose their lives,” said Girasun.
In its defense, the ministry said the plaintiff’s damages could not be considered within the law which allows “compensation of damages caused by terror and the fight with terror,” and demanded the case’s rejection.
Finding the Akgül family rightful, the court said the incident was caused by the internal conflict inside Syria and there was risk caused by living on the border, adding it was just for the damages of the plaintiffs who live on the border region and who do not have any guilt in the incident to be compensated as part of the “social risk” category, without seeking a failure of the administration.
The court further elaborated that it was sufficient that the incident occurred within the administration service area and compensation can be ruled in situations which do not have direct causation relation and the plaintiffs were damaged for being “an individual in society.”
Meanwhile, the lawyer of the Akgül family objected to the ruling, stating that the compensation was not sufficient as the family was greatly sorrowed over the death of İdris Akgül, adding the incident caused non-pecuniary damages that were not possible to compensate, as the family’s life-long costs should be compensated.