by Serdar GÜVEN and Others
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 27 January 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Luis López Guerra,
Ann Power, judges,
and Santiago Quesada, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 16 September 2002,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Serdar Güven, Hakan Alak, Ali Aracı, Cihan Keşkek, İnan Altın, Beril Güzel and Özcan Şanver are Turkish nationals who were born in 1975, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1976, 1981 and 1971 respectively. They are all musicians and members of a group called “Grup Yorum”. They are represented before the Court by Mr B. Aşçı and Ö. Gider, lawyers practising in Istanbul.
The applicants complained of a violation of their right to freedom of expression protected by Article 10 of the Convention since they had constantly been intimidated by the national authorities who refused to allow them to give concerts and seized their cassettes or albums. They submitted that they expressed their opinions by their music and that the restrictions imposed on their music had become an administrative practice.
On 22 January 2008 the President of the Chamber decided that notice of the application should be given to the Government.
By letter dated 10 July 2008 the Government’s observations were sent to the applicants’ representative, who was requested to submit any observations together with any claims for just satisfaction in reply by 21 August 2008.
By letter dated 29 September 2008, sent by registered post, the applicants’ representative was notified that the period allowed for submission of the applicants’ observations had expired on 21 August and that no extension of time had been requested. The applicants’ representative’s attention was drawn to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, which provides that the Court may strike a case out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application. The applicants’ representative received this letter on 8 October 2008. However, no response has been received.
The Court considers that, in these circumstances, the applicants may be regarded as no longer wishing to pursue their application, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the continued examination of the case. In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Santiago Quesada Josep Casadevall Registrar President