European Court Of Human Rights Judgments (Summary)
Bayam v. Turkey (no. 26896/02)
Violation of Article 5 § 3
The applicant, Rıfat Bayam, is a Turkish national, who was born in 1975. He was detained in Batman Prison at the time of his application to the Court.
In December 1993 Mr Bayam was taken into police custody on suspicion of being a member of an illegal organisation, the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party). Ultimately, he was convicted in September 2000 and sentenced to 12 years and six months’ imprisonment.
Relying, in particular, on Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security) and Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time), Mr Bayam complained of the excessive length of his detention on remand.
The Court held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 3 on account of Mr Bayam’s pre-trial detention having lasted almost five years and three months. The applicant was awarded EUR 4,000 for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,000 for costs and expenses. The remainder of the application was declared inadmissible. (The judgment is available only in English.)
Karatepe v. Turkey (no. 41551/98)
Violation of Article 6 § 1 (fairness)
No violation of Article 10
The applicant, Şükrü Karatepe, is a Turkish national who was born in 1949 and lives in Kayseri (Turkey).
The applicant was a member of the Refah Partisi (Prosperity Party) and was mayor of Kayseri at the material time. In an indictment dated 25 July 1997 the public prosecutor at Ankara State Security Court charged the applicant with incitement to hatred and hostility on the basis of a distinction founded on religion, on account of speeches he made in October and November 1996. On 9 October 1997 he was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and payment of a fine. The judgment was upheld by the Court of Cassation. The applicant was removed from his post as mayor in February 1998 and was imprisoned on 24 April 1998, before being granted conditional release on 17 September 1998.
Relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial), the applicant alleged that his case had not been heard by an independent and impartial tribunal on account of the presence of a military judge on the bench. He also complained, relying in particular on Article 10 (freedom of expression), that his conviction had infringed his right to freedom of expression.
As to the complaint under Article 6 § 1, the Court reached the same findings as in similar cases raising the same issues under the Convention, and held unanimously that there had been a violation. It further considered that the severity of the penalty imposed on the applicant could not be said to be disproportionate to the legitimate aim pursued, namely the prevention of public incitement to crime. It observed that the interference complained of had been in accordance with Article 10 and held by six votes to one that there had been no violation of that Article. The Court held unanimously that the finding of a violation constituted in itself sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by Mr Karatepe and awarded him EUR 500 for costs and expenses. (The judgment is available only in French.)
Kozacioğlu v. Turkey (no. 2334/03)
Violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
The applicant, İbrahim Kozacıoğlu, died in 2005. His heirs decided to continue with the application before the Court.
In April 2000 a property belonging to the applicant was expropriated by the Ministry of Culture on the ground that it had been classified as a “cultural asset”. The applicant was paid approximately EUR 65,326 on the transfer of the property. In October 2000 the applicant lodged an application for increased compensation, requesting that a new panel of experts re-assess the property and take into account its historical value. He argued in particular that the building in question featured on the Council of Europe’s inventory of the cultural and natural heritage, and claimed approximately EUR 1,728,075 in additional compensation. Two different panels of experts found in June 2001 that, in view of the nature of the property, its value should be increased by 100%. However, in May 2002, the domestic courts awarded the applicant a final sum of approximately EUR 45,980 in additional compensation.
Relying on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), the applicant complained in particular of an infringement of his right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.
The Court noted that the historical value of the expropriated property had not been taken into account in calculating the compensation payable, either when the compensation for expropriation had been determined or during the proceedings concerning increased compensation. It took the view that the complete failure to take that into consideration had deprived the applicant of the value attributable to the expropriated property and held, by four votes to three, that there had been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. It also found that the judgment constituted in itself sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant and awarded him EUR 75,000 for pecuniary damage and EUR 1,000 for costs and expenses. (The judgment is available only in French.)
Tuş and Others v. Turkey (nos. 7144/02 and 39865/02)
Violation of Article 5 § 3
The eight applicants, Mr İzettin Tuş, Mr Yunus İşler, Mr Abdulsamet Rahat, Mr Ali Vesek, Mr Ali Poyraz, Mr Mahmut Sığak, Ms Besna Rahatand Ms Evin Tunç are all Turkish nationals either living in or imprisoned in Izmir (Turkey).
They were all arrested in connection with operations against the PKK (Workers’ Party of Kurdistan).
The applicants İzzettin Tuş, Yunus İşler, Abdulsamet Rahat, Ali Poyraz, Besna Rahat and Evin Tunç complained that they had not been brought promptly before a judge or other officer after their arrest, as required by Article 5 § 3. Yunus İşler, Abdulsamet Rahat, Besna Rahat and Evin Tunç, complained of a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life).
The Court declared the complaint under Article 5 § 3 admissible. However, it declared inadmissible the complaints of Mr Ali Vesek and Mr Mahmut Sığak and the complaint concerning a violation of Article 8.
It held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 3, noting in particular that the applicants had remained in police custody for at least four days. It awarded EUR 1,000 to each of the applicants İzzettin Tuş, Yunus İşler, Abdulsamet Rahat and Besna Rahat and EUR 500 to each of the applicants Ali Poyraz and Evin Tunç for non-pecuniary damage; it awarded them EUR 1,000 jointly for costs and expenses, less the EUR 715 paid by the Council of Europe in legal assistance. (The judgment is available only in French.)