According to the relatives of the victims, Turkish military and gendarmerie forces raided Ormancık village of Şemdinli on July 24, 1994. There also were claims that the forces were part of an illegal intelligence organization inside the gendarmerie known as JİTEM.
The residents were told by the army to gather at the helicopter landing pad, which was in the main square. The men of the village were stripped naked and beaten. Two villagers, Emine Çelik and Zübeyda Uysal, who were pregnant at the time of the events, were also beaten when they protested against the security forces’ conduct and both eventually suffered miscarriages. Furthermore, Kerem İnan was killed by a non-commissioned gendarmerie officer when he did not obey the order to gather in the main square.
The relatives told the European court that the security forces set fire to the houses in the village. Cemal Sevli, Reşit Sevli, Aşur Seçkin, Salih Şengül, Yusuf Çelik, Naci Şengül and Kemal İzci were put in military vehicles by the soldiers to be taken to the military base. On the way to the base, the soldiers stopped two cars in which ten villagers were travelling. The soldiers let the four children in the cars go, but arrested Hayrullah Öztürk, Abdullah İnan, Mirhaç Çelik, Seddik Şengül, Casım Çelik and Hurşit Taşkın. The soldiers then set fire to the villagers’ cars.
Villagers were then forced to leave Ormancık and Turkey by the security forces. They then crossed the border into Iraq.
Between 1994 and 1997, the villagers lived in the Atrush refugee camp, which had been established by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in northern Iraq. In March 1997, following the closure of the camp by the United Nations, the applicants moved to Suleymaniyeh, a city in northern Iraq. During the autumn of 1997 they finally returned to Turkey and began living in Şemdinli.
Fourteen relatives of the missing villagers, Meryem Çelik, Zübeyda Uysal, Misrihan Sevli, Emine Çelik, Marya Çelik, Hamit Şengül, Fatma Şengül, Besna Sevli, Hanife İzci, Şakir Öztürk, Kimet Şengül, Hazima Çelik, Şekirnaz İnan and Hamayil İnan, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Sept. 10, 2002, after exhausting all domestic judicial instances.
The applicants claimed that that state security forces were responsible for the killing and forced disappearance of their relatives. They asserted that their rights protected by Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 13 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) had been violated.
The court has found that the authorities were liable under Article 2 of the Convention for the disappearance and death of the applicants’ relatives and failed to live up to its obligations. The court also found that there there has been a violation of Article 5 of the Convention on account of the unlawful detention of the missing villagers.
The court said in its decision that there has also been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention on account of the suffering of the applicants to the disappearance of their relatives.
The court awarded 11 applicants 60,000 euro each in respect of pecuniary damage.
The court also found that the applicants suffered non-pecuniary damage and awared 11 applications 65,000 euro each in respect of non-pecuniary damage. The court also awarded Şengül and Öztürk 32,500 euro each and İnan 20,000 euro.
The court said it considers it reasonable to make a joint award to the applicants of the sum of 5,200 euro to cover the fee of their legal representative in the proceedings before it.