20 February 2013, The Law Society, London
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 judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), 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 brings together international lawyers who helped take European Court of Human Rights (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 ECtHR found proven. This event has
been 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. Speakers include:
• Emma Sinclair Webb, author of the Human Rights Watch report
• Professor Françoise 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)
• Tahir Elçi, 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 ECtHR. This event is being held on the 20th anniversary of
the attack on the village of Ormanici which formed the basis of this case.
Who should attend?
Legal practitioners, academics, NGO’s, INGO’s and policy-makers from around the world with an interest in the ongoing
situation in Turkey surrounding human rights and the ECtHR. The event is also recommended to lawyers and students
who have a general interest in these areas and want to know more.
To register for this event online, please visit http://bit.ly/WwSEjb.
17.30 – 18.00 Registration
18.00 – 20.00 Presentations
20.00 – 20.30 Networking Reception
Emma Sinclair Webb, Human Rights Watch report
Professor Françoise Hampson, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
Tahir Elçi, President of the Diyarbakir Bar
Free to all delegate