Ergi and Aytekin v. Turkey: Human Rights and Armed Conflict in Turkey
Kurdish Human Rights Project
The cases of Ergi v. Turkey and Aytekin v. Turkey highlight the problems of the use of excessive force and the violation of humanitarian law occurring in Turkey today. In particular, the cases reveal that the civilian population in Turkey is not immune from the armed conflict taking place within that State’s borders.
For over a decade the south east region of Turkey has been the location of armed conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (the PKK)1 and Turkish security forces.1 2 3 3 This conflict has clearly taken a toll on the civilian population of the region. Indeed in a speech given in 1998, the Turkish President, Suleyman Demirel, stated that 5,302 civilians had been killed in Government and PKK fighting since 1984? As the majority of the population in the region is of Kurdish ethnic origin and the majority of an estimated 15 million Turkish Kurds reside in the region, the impact of the fighting has been sustained primarily by the Kurds.
As well as non-combatants being caught in crossfire