Timurtas v. Turkey
Evidence | Relatives as Victims | Effective Remedy | Duty to Investigate
The Court found that the period of time which has elapsed since a person was placed in detention, although not decisive in itself, is a relevant factor to be taken into account when determining whether a disappeared person may be presumed to have died while in state custody. The passage of time of unacknowledged detention may affect the weight the Court will attach to other circumstantial evidence. It reiterated that Article 13 requires the state to undertake a thorough and effective investigation capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible and including effective access for the relatives to the investigatory procedure.
June 13, 2000
Article 2 (procedural) [ECHR], Article 2 (substantive) [ECHR], Article 3 [ECHR], Article 5 [ECHR], Article 13 [ECHR]
Articles not violated / not dealt with
Article 14 [ECHR], Article 18 [ECHR]
Facts of the Case
Mr. Abdulvahap Timurtaş was apprehended in 1993 by state authorities along with a number of other men and was taken into detention in Silopi district, South East Turkey. Eye-witness testimony from other detainees placed the victim in state detention for at least 45 days following his arrest. As of the date of the Court's judgment, more than six and a half years had passed without information about his whereabouts. The Court found that at the time of his disappearance Mr. Timurtaş was wanted by the authorities for his alleged PKK (Workers’ Party of Kurdistan) activities.