Euro Court Hands Down Two Sentences to Turkey

STRASBOURG–France (Reuters)-The European Court of Human Rights ruled twice against Turkey on Monday including a condemnation of its banning in 1992 of the far left Socialist party.

The court ruled that Turkey had violated that part of the European Convention of Human Rights–of which it is a signatory–which guarantees freedom of association by banning the Socialist party which was created in 1988 and had stood in elections.

The party was banned by Turkey’s Constitutional Court on the grounds that it distinguished between a Turkish and a Kurdish nation to the detriment of Turkey’s territorial integrity.

The court said there were no grounds to ban a group which did not use violence even though its political argumen’s were irksome to authorities.

"The dissolution of the SP has been disproportionate to the aim pursued and consequently unnecessary in a democratic society," the court said.

The court issued a similar ruling in January concerning the banning of Turkey’s United Communist Party.

The European court awarded 50,000 fran’s ($8,300) in damages each to SP chairman Ilhan Kirit and former chairman Dogu Perincek–far less than the $7.5 million they sought for themselves and their party.

It also said it had no powers under the Convention to order Turkey to rescind the ban against the party.

The court earlier ruled that Turkey should pay damages to a woman whose son disappeared during a swoop by government forces against PKK Kurdish guerrillas.

The court found Turkey violated an article of the European Convention of Human Rights–of which it is a signatory–and should pay Koceri Kurt a total of 25,000 pounds sterling ($40,000).

The court ruled the mother’s testimony about seeing her son in the hands of security forces after clashes between soldiers and guerrillas was credible. The incident took place near Bismil in the southeast of the country in November 1995.

The court however failed to find conclusive proof that Uzeyir Kurt was killed by authorities.

It ruled the mother should be compensated on the grounds that Turkey violated article five of the Human Rights Convention stating that unacknowledged detention of an individual is a negation of the convention’s guarantees.

Separately–some 50 Kurdish men–aged between 20 and 30 and who are in France illegally–occupied the steps of a church in the southern port of Marseille where they said they would carry out a hunger strikes until authorities allowed them to stay in the country.

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