Turkey fined over 1.1 million euros for disappearances of villagers under military custody
Relatives of the missing villagers had applied to the ECHR.Turkey has been fined 1.1 million euros for the disappearance of villagers under military custody in southeastern province of Şırnak in 1993 by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The court decided for Turkey to pay 65,000 euros to each of the 18 applicants for non-pecuniary damage and 5,000 euros to all applicants jointly for costs and expenses, which makes 1,175,000 euros in total.
The villagers went missing in 1993 after military officers detained them in their village for their alleged involvement in an armed attack against soldiers stationed in the village of Selçik in the district of Silopi. Relatives of the missing villagers applied to the ECHR.
During the nights of June 13 and 14, 1993 there was an armed clash in the vicinity of the Görümlü gendarmerie station between members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the security forces. The village of Selçik, several kilometers away, was destroyed by the armed forces and the villagers were forced to flee. On June 14, 1993 the applicants’ relatives were arrested in front of the villagers and taken into custody at the Görümlü gendarmerie station.
The applicants asked the gendarmerie in Görümlü, Silopi and Şırnak whether there had been any news of their relatives following their arrest, without success. An initial complaint lodged by one of the applicants with the Silopi public prosecutor in December 1993 gave rise to a decision not to prosecute in September 1995. In June 2003, eight of the applicants lodged a fresh complaint with the Silopi public prosecutor in relation to the disappearances.
In August 2009 an additional investigation was opened following the discovery of new evidence. Criminal proceedings were instituted against members of the armed forces, some of whom were charged with murder. The proceedings are still pending before the Ankara Assize Court.