ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights
18 May 1954
Number of implemented cases*
Pregnant mother Menekşe Şentürk died after being denied treatment that could have saved her life. The European Court of Human Rights found that she was a victim of medical negligence. This judgment and others led Turkey to improve its healthcare system and make it more accessible for people who cannot afford urgent care.
A Turkish court decided that Y.Y., a transgender man, was not allowed to have gender reassignment surgery because he was not infertile. The European court said this legal requirement was unnecessary. It found that Turkey had breached Y.Y.’s human rights by denying him the chance to have surgery for many years. In response, Turkey removed the infertility requirement for gender reassignment surgery.
Nahide Opuz was abused by her husband for years. The violence tragically led to the murder of her mother. The European court ruled that Turkey had not done enough to protect Nahide and her mother, and, for the first time ever, that gender-based violence is a form of discrimination. The judgment helped to inspire international efforts to prevent and combat violence against women.
No lawyer was present when police interrogated 17-year-old Yusuf Salduz after he was arrested at a protest. Yusuf was convicted based on evidence that the European court ruled was unfairly gathered, in breach of his right to a fair trial. Turkey took steps to strengthen the right of access to a lawyer in police custody.
Aged 24, Hoda Jabari was suspected of adultery in Iran. The crime could be punished by stoning to death. Ms Jabari fled to Istanbul. However, the Turkish authorities decided to send her back. The European court prevented her from being returned to face a possible stoning. Ms Jabari was allowed to stay in Turkey and eventually leave to seek a new life Canada.
The director of a school asked for the police to be present outside his school gates, due to significant problems between young people. No help was provided. 15 year-old Sedat Kayak was stabbed to death by another student just outside the school. The European court ruled that the authorities had failed in their duty to protect children. The case led to a series of reforms to help prevent school...
The government evicted the inhabitants of a small village for counter-terrorism purposes. They were not allowed to return for over 10 years. In the meantime, they were given no alternative housing or money, and they lived in extreme poverty. The Strasbourg court ruled that their rights had been violated. A new law introduced compensation for damages suffered during anti-terrorist activities.
Hundreds of applicants complained of excessively long proceedings in Turkish courts. One was Fatma Ormancı, whose claim that the government had failed to protect her husband from terrorism was undecided for almost 6 years. The Strasbourg court found that applicants in over 280 cases faced excessively long delays in Turkish legal proceedings – leading to substantial reforms.
* This figure includes all judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights (including friendly settlements) concerning which the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has decided that all necessary follow-up measures have been taken. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.