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Application no. 19804/02
by Ahmet Turan DEMİR
against Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 30 November 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr B.M. Zupančič, President,
Mr R. Türmen,
Mr V. Zagrebelsky,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr E. Myjer,
Mrs I. Ziemele,
Mrs I. Berro-Lefevre, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 15 October 2001,

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


The applicant, Mr Ahmet Turan Demir, is a Turkish national who was born in 1949 and lives in Ankara. He is represented before the Court by Mrs Özdoğan, a lawyer practising in Izmir.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

At the material time, the applicant was the chairman of the İzmir Branch of the HADEP (Halkın Demokrasi Partisi- People’s Democracy Party). On 6 September 1998 he made a speech to the General Assembly of the Manisa Branch of HADEP.

With an indictment dated 22 March 2000, the public prosecutor’s office at the İzmir State Security Court instituted criminal proceedings against the applicant on account of the speech he had made on 6 September 1998. The prosecutor alleged that the applicant had disseminated propaganda against the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation contrary to Article 8 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Law No. 3713).

In the proceedings before the İzmir State Security Court, the applicant pleaded not guilty. He maintained that freedom of expression was an important part of democracy and that he had no intention to promote separatism. He further stated that as a politician he had always believed in solving problems in a democratic way. The applicant further contended that in his capacity as the chairman of the HADEP Izmir Branch, he had expressed his opinion on one of the country’s important problems.

On 14 November 2000 the İzmir State Security Court found the applicant guilty as charged. It ruled that the speech amounted to dissemination of separatist propaganda against the indivisible integrity of the Turkish state with its territory and nation. The applicant was sentenced to eleven months’ imprisonment and a fine pursuant to Article 8 of Law No. 3713.

The applicant appealed. While the proceedings were pending before the Court of Cassation, on 21 December 2000 a new legislation (Law No. 4616), which governed the conditional release, suspension of proceedings or execution of sentences in respect of offences committed before 23 April 1999 came into force. As a result, on 19 March 2001 the Court of Cassation quashed the decision of the İzmir State Security Court.

On 5 April 2001 the İzmir State Security Court decided to suspend the proceedings against the applicant pursuant to the new legislation. According to Law No. 4616, these proceedings would be resumed only if the applicant were to commit an offence of the same or more serious kind within five years of the court’s decision to suspend the proceedings. The decision of the İzmir State Security Court was notified on the applicant on 16 April 2001.


The applicant complains under Article 10 of the Convention that his prosecution for having made a speech constituted a violation of his right to freedom of expression.


On 6 October 2005 the Court decided to communicate the application to the respondent Government. On 31 March 2006 the Government submitted their observations on admissibility and merits. On 21 April 2006 the applicant’s representative was invited to submit any further observations together with any claims for just satisfaction in reply by 2 June 2006.

On 26 July 2006 the Registry sent a registered letter to the applicant’s representative, informing her that the period allowed for submission of the applicant’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application had expired on 2 June 2006 and that no extension of time had been requested. This letter was delivered to the applicant’s representative on 11 August 2006. The Court notes that in the said letter the attention of the applicant’s representative was drawn to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. The Registry has received no response to this day.

Under these circumstances, the Court considers that the applicant may be regarded as no longer wishing to pursue his application, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the continued examination of the case.

Accordingly, Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.

Vincent Berger Boštjan M. Zupančič
Registrar President