ECHR fines Turkey over Kurdish rights-related detentions

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) fined Turkey on Tuesday to over $9,300 in damages in two separate cases involving the detention of members of the country’s Kurdish minority.

The ECHR ruled in favour of the plaintiffs in two incidents that took place in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority east over a decade ago.

The ECHR said the right to liberty and security and freedom of assembly of Hakim Aydın, who was arrested in 2008 after taking part in a protest calling for the government to legalise Kurdish-language education, had been violated.

Turkey also violated the right to freedom of assembly of Kemal Çetin, who was also sentenced to prison after taking part in Newroz celebrations in the eastern province of Muş in 2007, the ECHR ruled.

Turkey is home to over 15 million Kurds. The use of the Kurdish language in public was banned by the military administration following the 1980 coup in Turkey, and it was decriminalised in 1991.

Newroz, celebrated by Kurds annually as the beginning of spring, is a highly contentious event in Turkey. Ankara sees the festivities as a manifestation of separatist nationalism and maintains heavy control over them, often banning events in large cities as in Istanbul and Ankara.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party has been fighting armed insurgency in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984.{%22itemid%22:[%22003-6704857-8927368%22

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