Turkey’s Stumbling Blocks: Freedom of Speech and Torture

Turkey has to pay € 16,000 in compensation to Faruk Temel, member of the People’s Democracy Party, by reason of a breach of the right to freedom of expression. German national Mehmet Desde was also compensated by the ECHR related to torture allegations.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found Turkey guilty regarding the conviction of Faruk Temel, executive of the Hakkari Youth Branches of the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP). Faruk Temel had applied to the international court upon his conviction on the grounds of condemning the USA intervention in Iraq and the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned leader of the outlawed armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

In the decision announced on Tuesday (1 February), the ECHR ruled for a violation of Articles 6 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to a fair trial and on freedom of expression respectively because Temel had been deprived of legal support during the investigation. Turkey has to pay € 16,000 (approx. TL 32,000) to Temel in compensation.

ECHR: Desde’s torture complaint was not investigated

In another case, the ECHR sentenced Turkey to a monetary fine of € 21,000 (approx. TL 42,000) in compensation, including cost and expenses, payable to German national Mehmet Desde. The court concluded that allegations of torture imposed to Desde when was taken into police custody upon his entry to Turkey in 2002 had not been investigated and necessary measures were failed to be done.

Desde had been interrogated at the Izmir Anti-Terror Branch and subsequently prosecuted over allegations of “membership of the Bolshevik Party of Northern Kurdistan/Turkey organization”. He was convicted and arrested. Desde was released from the Tire Prison (Izmir) on 7 September 2008.
Desde stated that he had been tortured in police custody but the police officers who registered the complaint did not take effective measures.

Erol ÖNDEROĞLU
Strasbourg – BİA News Center
02 February 2011

 

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