(Application no. 35980/97)
7 June 2001
This judgment may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Z.E. and Others v. Turkey,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. ROZAKIS, President,
Mr A.B. BAKA,
Mr G. BONELLO,
Mr R. TüRMEN,
Mr P. LORENZEN,
Mrs M. TSATSA-NIKOLOVSKA,
Mr E. LEVITS, judges,
and Mr E. FRIBERGH, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 14 December 2000 and on 17 May 2001,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the last-mentioned date:
1. The case originated in an application (no. 35980/97) against the Republic of Turkey lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights (“the Commission”) under former Article 25 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by five Turkish nationals, Z.E., Z.A., G.S., A.S. and U.Ş. (“the applicants”), on 1 March 1997.
2. The applicants were represented by Mr S. Çetinkaya, a lawyer practising in İzmir (Turkey). On 28 August 2000 one of the applicants, Mr U.Ş., was granted legal aid. The Government of Turkey (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr Tugay Uluçevik.
3. The applicants complained under Article 5 § 3 of the Convention that they were not brought promptly before a judge after their detention. They also alleged violations of Articles 6 and 14 of the Convention.
4. Following communication of the case to the Government by the Commission, the case was transmitted to the Court on 1 November 1998, when Protocol No. 11 to the Convention came into force (Article 5 § 2 of Protocol No. 11).
5. The application was allocated to the Second Section of the Court (Rule 52 § 1 of the Rules of Court). Within that Section, the Chamber that would consider the case (Article 27 § 1 of the Convention) was constituted as provided in Rule 26 § 1 of the Rules of Court.
6. On 14 December 2000, having obtained the parties’ observations, the Court declared the application admissible in so far as it concerned Article 5 § 3 of the Convention. The applicants’ further complaints were declared inadmissible.
7. On 30 March 2001 the Court received the formal declaration, dated 23 March 2001, from the applicants’ representative accepting a friendly settlement of the case. On 2 April 2001 the Court also received the Turkish Government’s formal declaration, dated 22 March 2001, accepting a friendly settlement of the case.
8. In connection with an investigation carried out by the Public Prosecutor attached to the İzmir State Security Court against the activities of an illegal organisation, called the Turkish Revolutionary Communist Union (“TİKB”), policemen from the Anti-Terrorism Department of the İzmir Security Department raided several houses between 7 and 10 September 1996. The three applicants, Z.E., Z.A. and A.S., were detained on 7 September 1996 while attending a seminar about “TİKB”. The fourth applicant, G.S., was also detained on the same day in another house that belonged to the organisation. Finally, the last applicant, U.Ş. was detained on 10 September 1996. All of the applicants were accused of being members of the illegal organisation, TİKB.
9. On 19 September 1996 the applicants were brought before the Public Prosecutor attached to the İzmir State Security Court. The same day, the investigating judge of the İzmir State Security Court decided to place the applicants in detention on remand and consequently sent the first four applicants to the Bergama Prison, and the last applicant to the Uşak Prison.
10. On 22 October 1996 the Public Prosecutor initiated criminal proceedings in the İzmir State Security Court against the applicants. In his indictment, the Public Prosecutor charged Z.E., Z.A., A.S. and U.Ş. for being members and G.S. for being one of the leaders of an illegal organisation whose aim was to undermine the constitutional order.
11. On 24 November 1998 the Court of Cassation upheld the convictions of Z.E., Z.A. and G.S. The criminal proceedings against A.S. and U.Ş. are still pending before the İstanbul State Security Court and İzmir State Security Court respectively.
12. On 2 April 2001 the Court received the following declaration, dated 22 March 2001, from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Turkey offer to pay, ex gratia, 140,000 French Francs to Ms Z.E., Ms A.S., Ms Z.A., Ms G.S. and Mr U.Ş. with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the application registered under no. 35980/97. This sum shall cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses incurred free of any tax or duty that may be chargeable and this amount will be payable immediately after the notification of the judgment delivered by the Court pursuant to the Article 39 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.
The Government further undertake not to request the reference of the case to the Grand Chamber under Article 43 § 1 of the Convention.”
13. On 30 March 2001 the Court received the following declaration, dated 23 March 2001, from the applicants’ representative:
“I note that the Government of Turkey are prepared to pay, ex gratia, a sum totalling 140,000 French Francs covering both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses incurred, free of any tax or duty that may be chargeable to Ms Z.E., Ms A.S., Ms Z.A., Ms G.S. and Mr U.Ş. with a view to securing a friendly settlement of application no. 35980/97 pending before the Court.
Having consulted the applicants, as their representative I accept the proposal and waive any further claims in respect of Turkey relating to the facts of this application. I declare that the case is definitely settled.
This declaration is made in the context of a friendly settlement which the Government and the applicant have reached.
I further undertake not to request the reference of the case to the Grand Chamber under Article 43 § 1 of the Convention after the delivery of the Court’s judgment.”
14. The Court takes note of the agreement reached between the parties (Article 39 of the Convention). It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention or its Protocols (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention and Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court).
15. Accordingly, the case should be struck out of the list.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Decides to strike the case out of the list;
2. Takes note of the parties’ undertaking not to request a rehearing of the case before the Grand Chamber.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 7 June 2001, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of the Court.
Erik FRIBERGH Christos L. ROZAKIS