TURKEY: Court defies judgement of European Court of Human Rights in Ülke case


The Military Court of Eskisehir turned down the application by Osman
Murat Ülke's lawyer Hülya Üçpınar on 27 July 2007. In July, Osman Murat
Ülke received an information from the Military Prosecutor's office in
Eskisehir, ordering him to present himself to the prosecutor, in order
to serve outstanding sentences for "persistent disobedience" (see
co-alert, 11 July

These sentences had been the subject of a judgemement by the European
Court of Human Rights from 24 January 2006, in which the ECHR found the
treatment of Osman Murat Ülke "constituted degrading treatment
within the meaning of Article 3.
" The court awared Osman Murat Ülke
a financial compensation and demanded that the situation of the
applicant be resolved.

However, this has not happened yet, and the recent arrest warrant
constitutes an escalation of the situation. Consequently, Osman Murat
Ülke applied to the Military Court of Eskisehir and requested for the
arrest warrant to be withdrawn. However, the court turned down this

The court writes in its decision:

"The convicted Osman Murat ÜLKE has been convicted of “persistent
disobedience” for two different criminal acts. Our Court decided for
summing up the two conviction verdicts for these crimes, one being
01.01.1999 dated, ref.no.1999/190 -19 and the other being 09.03.1999
dated, ref.no. 1999/229-102.  According to the assembly decision of
20.10.1999, ref.no 1999/190-229 and 1999/51 Mut., the Court decided for
execution of the sentence has not commenced yet;

Regarding the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights, the
court argues: "With respect to the European Convention of Human
Rights and article 90 of the Turkish Constitution, the judgments of the
European Court of Human Rights are regarded as the ground for retrials
within the framework of our domestic law.  However; the European Court
of Human Rights’ judgment regarding the convict, does not include a
clause that requires him to be re-tried.

Osman Murat Ülke, who has been living a more or less clandestine
life since his release in March 1999, is now at high risk of being
arrested again, in spite of the judgement of the European Court of
Human Rights.

  • War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the
    Turkish authorities, and Turkish embassies abroad.

Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr.

A protest email to the Turkish President Ahmet Nezdet Secer can be sent
at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20070711b.html.

  • War Resisters' International calls on the Turkey to finally
    solve the situation of Osman Murat Ülke and to comply with the
    judgement of the European Court of Human Rights.

  • War Resisters' International calls on Turkey to finally
    recognise the right to conscientious objection, and to exempt all
    existing conscientious objectors from military service.

Andreas Speck

War Resisters' International

Archives of co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts