Turkey's Constitutional Court rejects application on Cizre basement deaths

Turkey’s Constitutional Court rejected an application brought by families of people killed in Cizre basements during a curfew in February 2016. Lawyer Ramazan Demir said that once the top court's justified decision is released, they will take their case to the ECHR.

Duvar English

Turkey's Constitutional Court has rejected an application regarding the death of an estimated 177 people trapped in two basements in Cudi and Sur neighborhoods during security operations in the Cizre district of Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Şırnak in 2016.

The Constitutional Court has not yet published the justified decision behind its rejection.

Lawyer Ramazan Demir, representing the families, said that they can now take their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

“We do not know the details of the rejection decision, but since they have rejected it with one word, there is a possibility that they have found the claims 'having no explicit base,'” Demir was quoted as saying by Mezopotamya news agency.

He said once the top court's justified decision is released, they will file a case with the ECHR once again.

In 2019, the ECHR pronounced its judgment for a case filed on behalf of Orhan Tunç, ruling it inadmissible. Tunç was among those who perished in Cizre basements.

In its reasoning, the ECHR asserted that “all domestic remedies had not been exhausted,” meaning the plaintiff had not taken their case to Turkey’s Constitutional Court first.

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 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 14 killed people are.