ECtHR drops Uludere case due to late arrival of documents

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has dropped a case regarding the Uludere massacre, in which 34 people, mostly youngsters, were killed in a bombardment by Turkish military jets, due to the late arrival by two days of a document requested from the complainant’s lawyers.

Legal scholar Kerem Altıparmak, who is also involved in the case, announced the ECtHR’s decision with an angry tweet, saying, “The court’s name should be changed to the European Inadmissibility Court, because that is what they do best!”

The incident occurred on Dec. 28, 2011, and the initial statements claimed that the villagers were thought to be terrorists traveling along the Iraqi-Turkish border.

Altıparmak also stressed that there had been no judicial progress in the Uludere case for seven years.

In February 2012, the Turkish Prime Ministry offered TL 123,000 in compensation to families of the victims, who refused to accept it.

After the incident the Turkish Parliament named an investigation committee that worked for 15 months and produced a lengthy report, claiming that they could not identify who was responsible for the bombings. “Any evidence implying that the bombing of civilians occurred intentionally cannot be found,” the committee reported.

In January 2014 a military prosecutor refused to open a case for five suspects in the incident, claiming that they were doing their duty and that the bombardment of civilians was an “unavoidable mistake.”

Ferhat Encü, who lost 12 of his relatives, including a brother, in the bombardment was nominated to Parliament by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in 2015 and elected. In June 2017 Encü was sentenced by the Şırnak 2nd High Criminal Court to 55 months, 10 days in prison on a terrorism conviction.

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