The Kurdish population in Turkey. Time for Justice and a roadmap towards reconciliation.

Posted: February 4, 2013 in News & Events

20 February 2013
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL

In the early 1990’s the Turkish authorities were responsible for the wholesale destruction of over 3,000 villages in South East Turkey, together with many other human rights violations against a Kurdish minority of some 20 million people. Nearly 20 years later, and despite numerous judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, very few of the perpetrators have been brought to justice. Much international criticism is also still focused on Turkey’s failure to address the need to respect the cultural and language rights of the Kurdish people, and the “Kurdish Problem” remains one of the greatest challenges faced by Turkey in its efforts to become an effective modern democracy with appropriate respect for human rights, due process, and the rule of law.

This event, arranged in conjunction with Human Rights Watch, which recently published a major report on accountability in relation to the activities of the state in the early 1990’s will bring together international lawyers who helped take the ECHR cases to Strasbourg and domestic lawyers in Turkey who worked “on the ground” to collate the body of evidence which demands further prosecutions of those responsible for the gross human rights violations which the ECHR found proven. Speakers include Emma Sinclair Webb, author of the Human Rights Watch report, Professor Francoise Hampson of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex (who together with her colleague Professor Kevin Boyle received the Liberty “Human Rights Lawyer of the Year” award for her work on the Kurdish cases), and Tahir Elci, President of the Diyarbakir Bar, who was himself involved in many of the ECHR cases, including Ozkan v Turkey, the largest of the village destruction cases to come before the ECHR. 20th February 2013 is in fact the 20th anniversary of the attack on the village of Ormanici which formed the basis of this case.

For further information and to register click here.


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