Top Turkish court finds no rights violation in death of Cizre curfew victims

Turkey's Constitutional Court has found no violation of rights in the death of several people killed during the curfews imposed in Şırnak's Cizre district in 2015 and 2016.

Duvar English

Turkey's Constitutional Court has rejected the application regarding the death of several people killed during the curfews declared in the Cizre district of Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Şırnak in 2015 and 2016.

The top court said that the Constitution's Article 17 on the “right to life” had not been violated, according to reporting by Euronews' Turkish service.

Lawyer Ramazan Demir, representing the families, slammed the decision and said that they will take their case once again to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) when the Constitutional Court releases its justified decision.

“In its trial in 2018, the ECHR had told us to wait for the decision of the Turkish Constitutional Court. During the trial at the ECHR, we had already in a detailed way expressed that the Constitutional Court would give today's decision. Once the Constitutional Court's justified decision reaches us, we will again take the files to the ECHR,” Demir said on Twitter.

A total of 34 applications were already filed with the ECHR with regards to the case, but they were already turned down by the top European rights court in 2019 on the grounds that “all domestic remedies had not been exhausted.”

With the mid-2015 collapse of peace talks between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), more curfews than any other time in the modern Turkish state’s history were announced, leading to civilian killings and destruction of thousands of homes.

Various reports later gathered evidence of multiple human rights violations in Cizre. A total of 288 people died across the district, including 177 in basements, during the curfews, according to reports of NGOs.

Reports said that security forces surrounded two buildings, deliberately opened fire on people trapped in basements and then burned them. There is still no information as to where the bodies of several killed people are.