Decision of Court (Second Section Committee), May 19, 2015 (case GÖKDEMİR v. TURKEY)

Resolution Date:May 19, 2015
Issuing Organization:Court (Second Section Committee)



Application no. 66309/09Gülsen GÖKDEMİRagainst Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 19 May 2015 as a Committee composed of:

             Paul Lemmens, President,

             Robert Spano,

             Jon Fridrik Kjølbro, judges,

and Abel Campos, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 25 November 2009,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


  1. The applicant, Ms Gülsen Gökdemir, is a Turkish national, who was born in 1965 and lives in Giresun.

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

  3. On 24 January 2005 the applicant’s husband, Şinasi Gökdemir, drowned after having fallen into the sea while he was fishing on a pier in Bulancak.

  4. On the same day, the Police Directorate interviewed two eye-witnesses. According to the first witness, Şinasi Gökdemir had been fishing on the pier and had fallen into the sea after he had jumped onto the docking platform which had been slippery. He further stated that Şinasi Gökdemir had been struggling in the water and that he had disappeared from view when he had gone away to bring help. The second witness confirmed that Şinasi Gökdemir had been struggling in the water and stated that he had disappeared from view after having been carried away by the waves.

  5. On the same day, a police officer drew a sketch plan of the incident scene and prepared an official on-site report.

  6. On 7 February 2005 the applicant lodged a criminal complaint with the Bulancak public prosecutor’s office against the town council of Bulancak for reckless and negligent homicide. She claimed that the absence of a lifebuoy, rope, or any such equipment had contributed to her husband’s death. She added that there were no warning signs on the steps or on the pier.

  7. On 11 February 2005 the public prosecutor decided not to prosecute anyone in connection with the death. The prosecutor stated in his decision that on 24 January 2005 the applicant’s husband had slipped down the steps of the pier while fishing and had fallen into the sea where he drowned despite all his efforts and the help of the people in the area. Based on the findings of the autopsy, carried out on 25 January 2005, the eye-witness testimonies, the official incident on-site report, the sketch plan of the scene and other documents included in the file, the prosecutor concluded that Şinasi Gökdemir had died as a result of his own negligence and imprudence. The public prosecutor stated that a copy of the decision...

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