The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), has decreed that Turkey violated "the right to life" of Alpaslan Yelden who was tortured to death in custody on July 14, 1999 in İzmir. Turkey will pay € 75,000 (TL 137,700) compensation to Yelden's family. The period for objection to this decree is 3 months.
According to the decree, Turkey violated the Article 2 of The European Convention on Human Rights as Yelden who was under state responsibility died under custody. Moreover, there was no effective investigation after his death.
Yelden was killed when he was 37 years old and his mother Cennet Yelden, his father Halil Yelden, his brother Kudret Çiftçi and his son Tansu Halil Yelden applied to ECHR as domestic remedies have been exhausted.
Police officers were acquitted
Yelden was taken into custody within the scope of a murder investigation on July, 2nd and taken to İzmir Police Department. After the physical examination, he took the report showing that he's healthy. He was taken to hospital on July 3rd and the doctor wrote "risk of death" to his report.
"Yelden was in a depressive mood. He fell down and hit his head to the floor. We tried to pick him up but he fell down again, he was taken to hospital immediately" written at the police report.
Yelden died due to head trauma on July 14th. "Scars on his body" and "bruises on his soles" were identified at his autopsy report.
His father Halil Yelden told that his son was murdered by the police officers and he lodged a complaint against them.
Police officers İbrahim Peker, Hakan Ergüden, Muharrem Çetinkaya, Tarkan Gündoğdu, Ali Akyol, Hikmet Kudu, Yusuf Oyan, Uğur Kocal, Cemil Bulut and Nevzat Sağoğlu were prosecuted.
The reason of the head trauma was not stated at the Forensic Medicine Institute report; however three doctors said it could be due to torture.
Two health reports in 2002 and 2005 stated that Yelden had been subjected to falaka (beating on the soles of the feet), he was tortured and the head trauma cannot be due to falling down.
10 police officers were sentenced to 3 years 4 months of imprisonment by İzmir 2. High Criminal Court on November 6, 2008.
The Supreme Court agreed on the reversal of the decision due to "lack of evidence" on April 2010. İzmir 2. High Criminal Court decided for the acquittal of the police officers this time and the Supreme Court approved this decision. Yelden family applied to ECHR as domestic remedies have been exhausted.
"The state is responsible for his death"
"The court is unsuccessful at investigating the torture despite the doctor reports and the state is responsible for his death" decreed ECHR.
Turkey will pay € 50,000 to Tansu Halil Yelden, € 15,000 to Halil and Cennet Yelden, € 5,000 to Kudret Çiftçi and € 5,000 to the family for the legal expenses. (AS)
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