Duvar English

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found Turkey guilty of violating the rights of a university student who was detained for attending a rally for Kurdish language education.

The court said in its decision on May 26 that the authorities’ move to detain Hakim Aydın was a violation of right to liberty and security as well as the freedom of assembly and association, which are secured by the European Convention on Human Rights’ articles 5 and 11 respectively, Euronews Turkish service said.

The court also ordered Turkey to pay 7,000 euros to Aydın in compensation.

The incident concerns the detention of Aydın in 2008 while he was a student at the agricultural faculty of Diyarbakır University. He participated at a protest demanding education in the mother tongue.

Kurdish language education has long been a contentious issue in Turkey. 

In 2012, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as part of a reform drive it put into place, announced that it would allow for the creation of elective Kurdish language classes at schools.

But pro-Kurdish politicians and activists have increasingly been pushing for the government to recognize the Kurdish language as a “mother tongue” and allow for true bilingual public education, particularly in southeast Turkey, where many children speak Kurdish as their first language.