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TURKEY
CASE N° TK/39 - LEYLA ZANA
CASE N° TK/40 - SEDAT YURTDAS
CASE N° TK/41 - HATIP DICLE
CASE N° TK/42 - ZÜBEYIR AYDAR
CASE N° TK/43 - MAHMUT ALINAK
CASE N° TK/44 - AHMET TÜRK
CASE N° TK/48 - SIRRI SAKIK
CASE N° TK/51 - ORHAN DOGAN
CASE N° TK/52 - SELIM SADAK
CASE N° TK/53 NIZAMETTIN TOGUÇ
CASE N° TK/55 - MEHMET SINÇAR
CASE N° TK/57 - MAHMUT KILINÇ
CASE N° TK/58 - NAIF GÜNES
CASE N° TK/59 - ALI YIGIT
CASE N° TK/62 - REMZI KARTAL
Resolution adopted without a vote by the IPU Council
at its 170th session (Marrakech, 23 March 2002)


The Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of the above-mentioned parliamentarians, former members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/170/13.c(ii)-R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 169th session (September 2001),

Taking account of the information provided by a member of the Turkish delegation at the hearing held on the occasion of the 107th Conference (March 2002),

Taking account of a note conveyed by the delegation which sets out in detail the current legislative reform process in Turkey to ensure compliance of national law with Turkey's obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and party to the European Convention on Human Rights,

Taking account of the information provided by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 18 December 2001 and 1 February 2002,

Recalling that the MPs concerned were all members of the Democracy Party (DEP), which the Constitutional Court of Turkey dissolved in June 1994; Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak are at present serving the 15-year prison sentence handed down on them in December 1994 for membership of an armed organisation; Mr. Yurtdas, Mr. Alinak, Mr. Sakik and Mr. Türk were found guilty of separatist propaganda and sentenced to a fine and 14 months' imprisonment, which they served; as a result of that judgment, Mr. Alinak and Mr. Yurtdas are barred from practising their profession as lawyers; Mr. Toguç, Mr. Kilinç, Mr. Günes, Mr. Yigit and Mr. Kartal, who all fled abroad following the dissolution of the DEP, were subsequently also accused of separatism and would be arrested and prosecuted should they return to Turkey,

Recalling further that in its ruling of 26 June 2001 on a petition of Ms. Zana, Mr. Dogan, Mr. Sadak and Mr. Dicle against the judgment handed down on them in Turkey, the European Court of Human Rights found that their right to fair trial had been violated insofar as they had not been judged by an independent and impartial tribunal and had not been given the right to defend themselves and thus the right to clear themselves of the charges laid against them,

Considering that, according to the information provided by the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly has embarked on an exercise to verify the implementation by the Member States of the rulings handed down by the European Court of Human Rights; that within this framework and in view of the large number of rulings which Turkey has failed to implement, including the ruling in question, the Rapporteur decided to apply a special procedure to Turkey; having been assured by the leader of the Turkish parliamentary delegation to the Assembly that forthcoming constitutional amendments would make it possible to resolve a good many of the cases, the Rapporteur intends to prepare a specific report on Turkey which could be submitted to the Assembly in June 2002,

Recalling that, on many occasions, the Turkish delegations which the Committee has heard on the occasion of statutory Conferences have affirmed that their country abides by the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights; considering in this connection that, at the hearing held on the occasion of the 107th Conference (March 2002), the Turkish delegation stated that the judgment in question had so far not been implemented as the necessary legal provisions at the national level had not yet been adopted; in fact, the Turkish Grand National Assembly has not adopted a government bill providing for implementation at national level of rulings of international bodies, in particular the European Court of Human Rights,

Bearing in mind that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which is entrusted with ensuring the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, has stated on many occasions, most recently in its Recommendation 1529 (2001) on "Honouring of obligations and commitments by Turkey", "the fundamental importance it attaches to member states respecting their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular their obligation to abide by the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights",

  1. Thanks the Turkish delegation for the information and observations provided;
  2. Is encouraged by the ongoing reform process in Turkey aimed at honouring its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and party to the European Convention on Human Rights;
  3. Is therefore all the more dismayed that the Turkish Grand National Assembly has taken no action to ensure implementation of the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in this case; and that the Assembly has rejected draft legislation designed to guarantee such implementation;
  4. Recalls that Turkey, as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights having recognised the competence of the European Court of Human Rights, is bound to abide by the Court's judgments and cannot argue that further legislation is needed;
  5. Forcefully calls therefore on the Turkish Grand National Assembly to ensure without further delay the implementation of the European Court's ruling in this case;
  6. Reaffirms its conviction that the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights of 26 June 2001 warrants the immediate release of Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Sadak and Mr. Dogan since it is apparent from that ruling that their guilt has not been established;
  7. Calls therefore once again on the Assembly to make every effort to ensure the release of the four former MPs concerned, who have already served seven years' imprisonment;
  8. Reaffirms its conviction that - in common with Ms. Zana, Mr. Dicle, Mr. Dogan and Mr. Sadak - Mr. Alinak, Mr. Yurtdas, Mr. Türk and Mr. Sakik were prosecuted and sentenced on account of having exercised their right to freedom of speech and that, on the same account, charges were laid against Mr. Toguç, Mr. Kilinç, Mr. Günes, Mr. Yigit and Mr. Kartal, who all went into exile for fear of arrest; calls therefore once again on the Turkish authorities to consider granting them an amnesty so that they may return to Turkey should they so wish;
  9. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the Turkish parliamentary authorities, to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and to the European Parliament;
  10. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (September 2002).

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 107th Conference and related meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union" in PDF format (file size approximately 436K). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader

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