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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Turkey found guilty and fined



In a judgment handed down yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights, has found the Turkish State to be in violation of Article 2 of the Convention (the right to life) for using excessive force in a house search which resulted in the brutal murder of Mehmet Gul.

At 1:00 a.m. on 8 March 1993, as part of a house search operation in the town of Bozova, police officers knocked on the door of the Mehmet Gul's house. As the Mr. Gul opened the door, the officers fired between 50 and 55 shots at him. Mehmet Gul was hit and collapsed. His family took him to hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Criminal proceedings were brought against the police officers concerned in 1995. Mehmet Gul's family was not told about these proceedings, nor invited to take part. On the basis of the officers' evidence and expert reports, the policemen were acquitted.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on 14 December 2000 that the Turkish State was in breach of Articles 2 and 13 of the Convention. The Court noted in its judgment that "the reaction of the police officers by opening fire with automatic weapons on an unseen target in a residential block inhabited by innocent civilians, women and children was grossly disproportionate." The Court also found that the inadequacy of the authorities' investigation into the circumstances of Mehmet Gul's death constituted a further violation of Article 2. In view of the lack of effective criminal investigation, the Court found that the applicant was denied an effective remedy in respect of his son's death in breach of Article 13.

Under Article 41, the Court awarded £55,000 damages to Mehmet Gul's widow and children, £10,000 to the applicant, Mehmet Gul's father and £21,000 in legal costs and expenses.


1. The Kurdish Human Rights Project works for the promotion and protection of human rights within the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the former Soviet Union.

2. The case of Mehmet Gul v. Turkey (extra-judicial killing) concerns the shooting of a Kurdish man by Turkish police during a police house search.

3. The application was made by the Kurdish Human Rights Project on 25 August 1993 on behalf of Mehmet Gul, the father of the victim.

4. The Court, in a judgment handed down on 14 December 2001, found Turkey to be in violation of Articles 2 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

5. Under Article 41 (just satisfaction), the Court unanimously awarded the applicant £10,000 in damages, £55,000 to Mehmet Gul's widow and children, and £21,000 for legal costs and expenses.

6. The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. On 1 November 1998 a full-time Court was established, replacing the original two-tier system of a part-time Commission and Court