(Application no. 71864/01)
7 July 2009
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Tağaç and Others v. Turkey,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Ireneu Cabral Barreto,
Işıl Karakaş, judges,
and Françoise Elens-Passos, Section Deputy Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 16 June 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. ...
3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: ...
(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing...”
1. Independence and impartiality of the Istanbul State Security Court
2. Fairness of the proceedings
a) The parties' observations
b) The Court's assessment
35. The Court reiterates that it has already examined the same grievance in the case of Salduz v. Turkey and found a violation of Article 6 § 3 (c) of the Convention in conjunction with Article 6 § 1 (cited above, §§ 56- 62). In that case, the Court found that the applicant's right of access to a lawyer had been restricted during his police custody, pursuant to section 31 of Law no. 3842, as he was accused of committing an offence falling within the jurisdiction of the State Security Courts. As a result, he had not had access to a lawyer when he made his statements to the police, the public prosecutor or the investigating judge. No justification had been given for denying the applicant access to a lawyer other than the fact that it was a requirement of the relevant legal provisions. This fell short of the guarantees of Article 6.
II. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final according to Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts to be converted into Turkish liras at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 1,500 (one thousand five hundred euros) each in respect of non pecuniary damage, plus any tax that may be chargeable;
(ii) EUR 2,600 (two thousand six hundred euros) jointly in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 7 July 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Françoise Elens-Passos Françoise
Deputy Registrar President
1. In some of the official documents Ms Tağaç, Mr Akbaba and Ms Yaşar are stated to have been arrested on 25 March and Ms Sarısaltıkoğlu on 26 March 2003.
2. The events known as the Gazi incidents are documented in the case of Şimşek and Others v. Turkey, nos.35072/97 and 37194/97, §§ 15-25, 26 July 2005.
3. The applicants submitted two newspaper clippings, with photographs.
4. Background information on the Susurluk incident, inquiry and report; the Court refers to Ülkü Ekinci v. Turkey, no.27602/95, §§ 111-118, 16 July 2002.
5. Judgment not yet final.