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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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Latest application to European Court of Human Rights by Kurdish Human Rights Project

Press Release: 12th January 2000


Koray Duzgoren, the well known Turkish journalist and writer, has lodged an application against Turkey before the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Duzgoren claims that Turkey violated his right to freedom of expression (Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights) and that his trial as a civilian before a military court violated his right to a fair trial (Article 6).

Mr Duzgoren was sentenced to two months imprisonment for the publication and distribution of a leaflet on freedom of expression.

He has fled to Britain, where, with the assistance of the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP), he has lodged an application against the Turkish state under the European Convention on Human Rights.

This case highlights the fact that, while Turkey teeters on the edge of the European Union, and its human rights record is spotlighted by the unrelenting gaze of the world's media, the evidence of persistent human rights abuse continues to flow unabated from within the Turkish state.

In April 1998, Koray Duzgoren and a colleague distributed around fifty leaflets outside the State Security Court in Ankara. The leaflet defended the right to freedom of thought and expression, and in particular the right to speak out about conscientious objection in Turkey.

Two months later, Mr Duzgoren found himself the subject of criminal proceedings under Article 155 of the Turkish Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 58 of the Military Penal Code. The indictment alleged that in publishing and distributing the leaflet the defendant had discouraged people from entering into military service.

Mr Duzgoren was sentenced on 9th March 1999 to two months' imprisonment by the Turkish General Staff Military Court for the publication and distribution of the leaflet. Mr Duzgoren subsequently fled Turkey, leaving his family, his home and his livelihood behind.

Mr Duzgoran lodged an application under the European Convention of Human Rights in December 1999. He alleges violation of the Convention under Article 6 (right to a fair trial), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (protection of property).


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. Koray Duzgoren is an eminent journalist, political commentator and writer and is well known and highly-respected throughout Turkey. He has worked for over twenty years in Turkey as a reporter, news and serials editor, columnist and night editor, producer and director, as well as in a lecturing capacity as an Assistant Professor.

3. Mr Duzgoren was charged in 1998 under Article 155 of the Turkish Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 58 of the Military Penal Code for publishing material which allegedly discouraged citizens from performing their military service.

4. Mr Duzgoren was convicted by the General Staff Military Court on 9th March 1999, and sentenced to two months' imprisonment. He appealed to the Military Supreme Court of Appeal which unanimously approved the first instance of judgment on 25 May 1999.