Violation of ECHR, art 2 by Turkey in failing to cooperate with Cypriot authorities in murder investigation


Re: Güzelyurtlu & Ors v Cyprus & Turkey (App No. 36925/07)

The Court found that there had been no violation of ECHR, art 2 by Cyprus but there had been a violation of art 2 by Turkey, following the murder of three Cypriot nationals in 2005. When the killers fled to Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, the lack of cooperation between Turkey and Cyprus led the murder investigations to come to an impasse in 2008. The Court found that Cyprus had done all that could reasonably have been expected of it to obtain the surrender/extradition of the suspects from Turkey. Cypriot authorities could not be criticised for refusing to submit all the evidence and transfer the proceedings to the occupying Turkish authorities, since Cyprus had primary jurisdiction to investigate the case. By contrast, Turkey had not made the minimum effort required in the circumstances of the case: ignoring Cyprus’s extradition requests and returning them without reply. Turkey’s conduct amounted to a breach of the procedural limb of art 2, and the Court ordered damages to be paid.

Clare Montgomery QC and Jessica Jones were involved in this case.