Implementation of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights by Turkey
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Assembly debate on
23 September 2002 (25th Sitting) (see Doc. 9537, report of the Committee
on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Jurgens). Text
adopted by the Assembly on 23 September 2002 (25th Sitting).
The Parliamentary Assembly refers
to its Resolution 1268
on implementation of decisions of the European
Court of Human Rights, in which “considering the high number of
decisions against Turkey that have not been implemented, the Assembly
instructs its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to confer
with the national delegation of Turkey and with the Turkish Government
and to report to the Assembly, by June 2002 at the latest, on the
progress made. The Assembly envisages inviting the Turkish Minister
for Justice to the June part-session to confer on this matter.”
The deadline for the submission of the report was extended by the Bureau
of the Assembly until the September 2002 part-session.
2. The Assembly accordingly drew up a list of the oldest and/or
most important cases still unresolved. These cases notably raised
issues relating to respect for life (Article 2 of the European Convention
on Human Rights) and the prohibition of torture (Article 3), freedom
of expression (Article 10) and the right to a fair trial (Article
6). In addition, this list included the case of Cyprus against Turkey,
and in particular the problem of missing persons and violations
of the human rights of the Greek Cypriots in northern Cyprus.
3. The list also included the Loizidou case, in which Turkey
continues to refuse to take the measures required to comply with
its basic obligation under Article 46.1 of the Convention to abide
by the Court’s judgments.
4. The list was sent to the Turkish delegation in order to obtain
its assistance in ensuring the speedy resolution of these outstanding
issues. The delegation was also invited to submit any comments on
the cases mentioned.
5. Having regard to the information gathered on the state of
execution in the cases on the list and the comments submitted by
the Turkish delegation, the Assembly makes the following evaluation
of the situation.
6. The Assembly welcomes the constitutional and legal changes
which have taken place in Turkey, in particular in the autumn of
2001, in early 2002 and very recently in August 2002, which will
contribute to preventing the repetition of violations of the Convention
in the future. The Assembly has in particular noted that as a result
of the implementation of amendments to the Turkish Constitution
in 2001, introducing rapid judicial review of detention in police
custody, the Committee of Ministers has been able to indicate that
it will now close its examination of the Court's judgments concerning
this problem (see, inter alia, the judgment in the case of Sakik
and others against Turkey of 26 November 1997).
7. It welcomes in particular the progress made with the reform
aimed at ensuring that the security forces and other law enforcement
authorities respect the Convention in all circumstances. It also
notes the changes introduced in the scope of freedom of expression
and freedom of association, in particular those relating to the activities
of political parties. The Assembly stresses, however, the need to
go further and the importance attached to the courts, and in the
first place the highest courts, effectively applying the new provisions
in such a way that Turkey respects the Convention in general and
the judgments of the Court in particular.
8. However, despite the progress recently achieved, the Assembly
cannot but regret that a number of important problems remain outstanding.
The Assembly therefore reiterates its calls upon the Turkish
authorities to ensure rapidly that:
modalities of payment of just satisfaction respect the judgments
of the Court (ninety cases);
ii the recently adopted legislation on the reopening of judicial
proceedings is given immediate effect and made applicable to all
cases pending before the Committee of Ministers for control of execution,
so as to enable the consequences of the violations found to be remedied;
iii legislation be adopted to allow the consequences of the
violations of the Convention to be immediately erased, including
by restoring the applicants’ civil and political rights (eighteen
cases of freedom of expression);
iv further legislative action is rapidly taken to ensure
respect for freedom of expression, notably in application of the
v further progress is made in preventing, through development
of the training of the security forces and the development of effective
criminal and civil remedies, new violations notably of Articles
2 and 3 of the Convention (thirty-eight cases concerning actions
by the security forces);
vi concrete measures are adopted in the case of Cyprus against
Turkey, notably to deal with the problems of missing persons in
a manner respecting the Convention and to stop the continuing violations
of the rights of the Greek Cypriots in northern Cyprus;
vii the necessary legislative amendments in the Zana case
are adopted without further delay.
10. The Assembly deeply regrets that the new legislation on the
reopening of proceedings adopted by Turkey in August 2002 expressly
excludes any possibility of complying with the Court's judgment
in the case of Sadak and others, so that the four applicants will
continue to serve their fifteen-year prison sentences, imposed following
an unfair trial. It strongly supports the Committee on Legal Affairs
and Human Rights’ demand to remedy urgently the applicants' situation,
either by making this new legislation immediately applicable to
all pending cases or by adopting ad hoc measures in the applicants'
favour. In the event that the applicants' situation is not remedied,
the Assembly will consider the consequences of such a refusal at
its session in April 2003.
11. The Assembly also notes with grave concern Turkey’s continued
refusal to respect the Court’s judgments in the Loizidou case. It
finds, with the Committee of Ministers, that this refusal demonstrates
a manifest disregard by Turkey for its international obligations,
both as a High Contracting Party to the Convention and as a member
state of the Council of Europe. The Assembly therefore invites Turkey
to ensure payment of the just satisfaction owed to the applicant
without any further delay. In case this request is not satisfied,
the Assembly will consider the consequences of this continuing refusal
at its April 2003 session.