(Application no. 33750/03)
13 January 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 Yeter v. Turkey,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Ireneu Cabral Barreto,
Işıl Karakaş, judges,
and Sally Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 9 December 2008,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
1. Factual background1
2. The subsequent arrest and death of Mr Süleyman Yeter
3. The criminal and disciplinary proceedings against the police officers
– inspect the crime scene and conduct an on-site investigation;
– find out whether Mr Süleyman Yeter's clothes had been examined after his death and, if not, ask the Fatih public prosecutor why;
– ask whether a video recording of Mr Süleyman Yeter's questioning had been made and, if so, obtain it; and
– hear evidence from the chief police commissioners who had been in charge of the anti-terrorism department.
The court dismissed these requests except for the one concerning the video recording.
– lodge a complaint against the officers who had failed to comply with the arrest warrant and find A.O. (the fugitive defendant);
– sentence the accused police officers, pursuant to Article 450 § 3 of the Criminal Code, for having committed a brutal murder;
– bring proceedings against the hierarchal superiors of the defendants; and
– order that the defendants who had been released pending trial be remanded in custody in view of the vicious nature of the crime.
4. The compensation proceedings
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 2 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION
“1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
(a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
(c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.”
1. General principles
2. Application of the general principles to the facts of the present case
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 3 OF THE CONVENTION
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
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.”
– 120,000 euros (EUR) for Ms Ayşe Yeter Yumli, the wife of the deceased;
– EUR 80,000 for Ms Sırma Yeter, the mother of the deceased; and
– EUR 40,000 each for Mr Mustafa Yeter and Mr Dursun Yeter, the brothers of the deceased.
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
3. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 2 of the Convention in both its substantive and procedural aspects;
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts, to be converted into new Turkish liras at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 40,000 (forty thousand euros) to each of the first and second applicants, plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(ii) EUR 15,000 (fifteen thousand euros) to each of the third and fourth applicants, plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(iii) EUR 720 (seven hundred and twenty euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants, in respect of costs and expenses;
(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 13 January 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Sally Dollé Françoise Tulkens
1. An application concerning the events prior to Mr Süleyman Yeter’s death was examined by the Court in the case of Erdoğan Yılmaz and Others v. Turkey (no. 19374/03, 14 October 2008).
2. “Solidarity for a World without exploitation” (Somürüsüz bir Dünya icin Dayanışma Gazetesi), a left-wing magazine, identified by the police as one of the publications of the MLKP.
3. The Fatih public prosecutor had previously decided not to bring criminal proceedings against six of these officers in his decision of 16 September 1999 (see paragraph 29 above).