The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) convicted Turkey of violating article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights on "the Right to Life".
The operation subject the ECHR's decision was carried out in Adana on 18 October 1999 upon an unsigned notification that had been submitted to the Adana Police. In the notification it was claimed that a certain private home was a cell of the militant leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C).
22-year-old Erdiç Arslan, who was in the house during the raid, and 32-year-old Murat Bektaş, who lived next door, were killed by the police in the course of the operation.
According to the ECHR, the official detention and seizure report prepared subsequent to the raid was signed by 40 police officers, trials were filed against six police officers on the grounds of "killing people".
Identification could not be confirmed
The Adana High Criminal Court launched a trial on 12 December 1999 and reached a decision on 9 May 2001.
Two police officers were acquitted at the end of the trial. Four police officers received prison sentences of six months and 20 days each and were suspended from duty for three months each on the grounds of having exceeded their right to legal defence. The court decided to postpone the sentences.
The ECHR pointed out that among those four police officers it could not be confirmed who had actually killed Bektaş. Whereas Bektaş's wife identified who shot when she gave her statement to defendant police officer Ali Edruancan one day after the incident.
Killed with 18 bullets
Bektaş's wife and Arslan's daughter applied to the ECHR. The international court stated that the police officers had exceeded their right to legal defence.
"The police could have shot Bektaş in his leg or his foot without putting his life in danger. Yet, it has been confirmed that Bektaş was killed with 18 bullets, some of them also aimed at his head", the ECHR concluded.
The ECHR handed down a monetary fine of € 103,000 to Turkey. € 62,800 are to be paid to Bektaş's wife, Arslan's family will receive € 40,200. (SP/VK)
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