Mrs.Marija Pejčinović Burić Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Mr. Robert Ragnar Spano, President of the European Court of Human Rights, ladies and gentlemen, representatives of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.
Since the start of Turkish military operations on the areas of Kurdish origin in northern Syria, the region has turned into a hotspot full of all forms of human rights violations. The opposition prevented the displaced civilians from returning to their homes, practiced theft, robbery, plunder, armed robbery, confiscated property and crops, burned them, burned forests, abducted civilians, and arbitrarily arrested them. Cemeteries and cultural symbols were destroyed including the insult of the same Kurdish cultural values and symbols. The Turkish proxies and it’s own authority suppressing freedoms, forcing to change the demographics of the region forcibly in order to erase the Kurdish characteristics of it, and has practiced many other violations and crimes that can be categorised as War crimes, crimes against humanity, as well as crimes of ethnic cleansing and genocide, and all or some of these systematic crimes have been evidenced and confirmed by reports of governmental organisations, and non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the reports of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria.
We have a large collection of written documents, photos, and videos that also prove many examples and cases of all these crimes being committed and their perpetrators also have been identified and their identities been proven. It is supported by live and field testimonies and testimonies of witnesses and victims of these incidents.
Mrs Burić ,
Ladies and gentlemen,
We reaffirm that these crimes were committed by Turkey, its proxies and mercenaries and systematic perpetuation of these crimes is continuing in the Kurdish region under the Turkish control.
As the reports and the material documents show violation of all international covenants, charters and laws and its obligations and duties as an occupying power are continued. in addition to its flagrant violation of its obligations and responsibilities as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, which is obligated to observe by its standards not only on its territory, but it can extend to actions or omissions from the work of its authorities that result in effects outside its territory, and responsibility may also arise when it exercised as a result of military action, legally or unlawfully (such as the case of actual control outside the national territory, according to the jurisprudence of the Grand Chamber of the Court European human rights).
It is well known that Turkey has comprehensive and effective control over these areas with a continuous presence of its military forces and the fractions affiliated with it, meaning that Turkey’s effective control and its ability to manage, makes the occupation the full staff (Article 42 The Hague 1907), where the region is administered by a Turkish governor and employees.
In the face of this suffering and this disastrous situation, the victims tried to go to the international courts, such as the International Criminal Court, but they clashed with the fact that the court is not a state jurisdiction, because Turkey and Syria are two countries that are not ratifying the Rome Statute 1998, and the victims found no way but to resort to the European Court of Human Rights To seek justice and claim compensation. A complaint was filed in the period between 23/07- 18/09 2018 but the European Court rejected their requests based on Article / 35 / on the pretext of not exhausting all local remedies. This decision caused a state of public frustration, aroused great dissatisfaction among the victims and the public opinion, and interpreted it as evading the court from its legal and humanitarian responsibilities towards a people subjected to the worst types of inhuman practices. Because this condition constitutes a real obstacle and blocks all horizons for the victims to access justice.
Resorting to the Turkish courts is practically impossible. So are the victims required, for example, to go to a military or civil court inside the occupied territories that does not practice except arbitrary detention and all that is outside the law and its procedures? Or are they required to go to Turkey and the borders are closed to them? And whoever dares to go to the Turkish courts and prosecute the Turkish state under such circumstances and conditions, exposes his life and the lives of his relatives to danger, especially as we are certain that there is no rule of law in Turkey. The law is absent from its courts and subject to political will, no more, and if this situation applies to its citizens, so what about the citizens of a country it occupies? Not for the foregoing, and because each rule excludes and justice requires the application of the spirit of the law not stipulated, in addition to that the European Court of Human Rights was flexible in many cases and occasions, where there are many lawsuits and precedents that Turkey itself was also a party to and the European Court dispensed with a condition of exhaustion Local remedies when local remedies are useless or ineffective, or when access to this court is difficult or not possible, or the success of the case is hopeless in advance.
All these cases apply to our occupied territories, and we do not know why the court is still insisting on adhering to this condition.
ladies and gentlemen,
Based on these conditions and the reasons mentioned, we present to you, the undersigned, asking you to: Be professional and ethical in relation to what was stated and exert possible pressure whether Legal, political or other diplomatic measures available, in order to stop Turkish aggression and its subordinates over the areas it occupies in Syria and to stop their practices and
Turkey via their continuous violations of the rights of inhabitants of the occupied areas we are asking you to urge Turkey to end the occupation and ensure the safe return of the displaced people to their homes.
Take all possible measures that guarantee the justice of the victims and those who are affected by the Turkish policies, and allow them to access justice in order to protect their rights and receive compensation. In addition to that the victims need to go through a rehabilitation which we believe without having a right to access a justice it would be impossible to receive all necessary services and treatments in this respect.
This is the minimum fairness the victims of the Turkish policies could receive. Letting them to file cases against the individual perpetrators who are involved in perpetuation of the crimes against the Kurdish locals.
- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
- Lekolin Center for Legal Studies and Research, Germany.
3- Kurdish Legal Committee
4- Defense of Endangered Peoples Association, Germany Branch.
5- Kurdish Committee for Human Rights.
6- Adel Center for Human Rights.
7- Ezedina Media and Juridical Foundation.
8- Kurdish Organization for Human Rights in Syria, (DAD).
9- Violations Documentation Center in Northern and Eastern Syria.
10- Mahabad Human Rights Organization (MOHR).
11- Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Austria.
12- The Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Syria (MAF).
13- Kurdish Civil Society Organization in Europe.
14- Zagros Center for Human Rights.
15- Act for Afrin.
16- The Kurdish Society of Stuttgart.
17- Afrin Media Center.
18- Afrin Post News Network.