Euro court fines Turkey over lack of investigation into death of soldier
STRASBOURGThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Sept. 20 ordered Turkey to pay compensation to a couple from the eastern province of Ağrı who had filed a complaint over their son’s death during his compulsory military service.
Şirin and Barika Güzelaydın applied to the court claiming that their son Burhan had been killed and had not committed suicide.
Burhan Güzelaydın, who joined the army in 2008, was found in a dormitory with severe gunshot wounds on Jan. 30, 2009. He was taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries.
On conclusion of the criminal investigation, the military prosecutor issued a decision not to prosecute, stating that Güzelaydın had deliberately shot himself in the shoulder.
His parents then appealed the prosecutor’s decision, alleging that their son had been killed. Their appeal was dismissed by the Aǧrı Military Court on March 15, 2010.
An administrative investigation was also carried out that concluded Burhan Güzelaydın had injured himself intentionally in order to obtain sick leave. His family received approximately 11,735 euros in assistance from the Mehmetçik Foundation.
They later decided to apply to the ECHR based on the European Convention on Human Rights’ article regarding the right to life, particularly complaining about the investigation carried out into the circumstances of their son’s death.
The ECHR order Turkey to pay a total of 22,000 euros to the applicants over lack of effective investigation.