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 Turkey: Roboski victims’ relative seeks compensation after four detentions

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Turkey: Roboski victims’ relative seeks compensation after four detentions  25.7.2012  

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July 25, 2012

ISTANBUL, —  Ferhat Encü filed a suit for 20,000 Turkish Liras in respect of non-pecuniary damages against the Turkish state after law enforcement officials took him under custody four times over in connection with the same charge. Encü had lost 11 of his relatives in last year's Kurdish Roboski massacre and believes it was his quest for justice that prompted officials to take action against him.

"I am trying to keep the [issue of the] Roboski massacre current by talking about it the whole time. My quest for justice has unequivocally bothered the officials. They are trying to put the squeeze on me in this way to intimidate and silence me. There cannot be any other explanation. They want me to give up my struggle for justice," Encü had told bianet following his latest detention.

Encü's lawyers Efkan Bolaç, Taylan Tanay and Müşir Deliduman consequently appealed to the Istanbul High Criminal Court on Monday to file a suit at the Şırnak High Criminal Court in the country's southeast in accordance with article 141 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK.)

Detention deja vu

Officials first detained Encü on Feb. 29 in connection with the attack on Uludere District Mayor Naif Yavuz, but he was subsequently released upon the order of the court.

Law enforcement officials then took him under custody again on March 10 at Çukurova University where he was enrolled as a student, after the prosecutor objected to the decision to release him.

Authorities then released Encü once more but took him under custody again on May 26 in Ankara where he had arrived to participate in a demonstration by the Democratic Constitution Movement before Parliament. The apparent reason for this detention was the officials' failure to feed the latest orders to release him into the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP.)

He was released again after the error came to light, but when Encü visited the Şırnak Provincial Police Department on July 19 to follow through some procedures pertaining to his passport, law enforcement officials once more - "erroneously"- took him under custody on the grounds there was a search warrant for him.

Encü's lawyers have requested 10,000 TL for their client's detention on May 26 and another 10,000 TL for his detention on July 19, arguing their client had been aggrieved by the officials' actions, harassed by the police, experienced emotional distress and ran into problems when he attempted to participate in the demonstration for a democratic constitution.


On Dec. 28, 2011, Turkish Air Force jets launched an ill-fated strike in the district of Uludere in the southeasten Kurdish province of Şırnak (Northern Kurdistan). Some 34 Kurdish civilians from the villages of Roboski (Ortasu) and Bujeh (Gülyazı,) 28 of them being from the same family, lost their lives in consequence of the botched air strike.

Uludere District Mayor Naif Yavuz was then attacked and wounded on his head when he came to offer his condolences to the families of the deceased on Jan. 2. A court consequently ruled on Jan. 7 to arrest five suspects in connection with the incident on the charge of "attempted voluntary manslaughter."

Authorities subsequently transferred arrested suspects Mehmet Altürk, Faris Kaya, Ferdi Alma, Faruk Encü and Özcan Encü to Şırnak Prison. The indictment is yet to come out, while there is still an order of secrecy over the file. (AS)

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