Turkish court rules for $12,000 compensation for shepherd girl killed by army explosive
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News AgencyA Turkish court has ruled for a compensation of 28,000 Turkish Liras (around $12,000) for the death of Ceylan Önkol, a 12-year-old shepherd girl who was killed while grazing her cattle near her home in Lice, in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, allegedly by an explosive fired by the Turkish Armed Forces in 2009.
The investigation into several officers for charges of “misconduct of office” in the incident had been controversially dismissed in 2013 amid claims from several international human rights groups that officials failed to conduct a prompt and efficient probe. After exhausting all internal legal paths, the family appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, whose decision on the case is forthcoming.
The family had also decided to open a lawsuit separate from the criminal case against the state for a total of 250,000 liras of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages following the incident.
But Diyarbakır’s 2nd Administrative court ruled on an amount of 29,205 liras for pecuniary compensation, while rejecting non-pecuniary compensation demands in a verdict that prompted the family’s outrage.
The lawyer representing the Önkol family, Rahşan Bataray Zaran, said they have filed an appeal to the Council of State.
Some reports had accused prosecutors of relying on military units to provide evidence from the scene of the bombing, threatening the independence of the investigation. But little information was available regarding the probe due to a “secrecy decision,” which has also been slammed by NGOs such as Amnesty International.
Ceylan’s death had prompted national outrage, putting impunity for victims of state violence under the spotlight, particularly in the country’s southeastern regions. The young girl’s mother had said that they had to endure giving over three hours of testimony with the body of her daughter beside them at a Gendarmerie post near the murder scene.