Nursena Küçüközyiğit, the daughter of a former Turkish bureaucrat who has been missing since late last year, has filed an application at the European Court of Human Rights requesting an interim measure concerning her father’s case.
Hüseyin Galip Küçüközyiğit has been missing since December 29. He was a successful lawyer who served as the chief legal counsel for the Turks Abroad and Related Communities Agency (YTB). He was fired from his job by a government decree in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July 2016. He was later sentenced to six years, three months in prison for “membership in a terrorist organization” due to his alleged ties to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen. Küçüközyiğit was released from pretrial detention pending appeal.
The ECtHR may, under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court, indicate interim measures to any state party to the European Convention on Human Rights. Interim measures are urgent measures which, according to the court’s well-established practice, apply only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm. Such measures are decided in connection with proceedings before the court without prejudging any subsequent decisions on the admissibility or merits of the case in question.
Nursena, who has been calling on Turkish authorities to carry out an effective investigation into the whereabouts of her father for months, tweeted: “We applied to all judicial authorities in Turkey for my father. We completed our application at the ECtHR since no effective investigation has been made for months and the Constitutional Court rejected our request for an interim measure. It is very saddening that we need to apply to the ECtHR and the UN for a person who went missing in Ankara. Where is my father?” Nursena tagged Turkey’s Justice Ministry to answer her question.
Babam için Türkiye'de tüm başvuruları yapmıştık. Aylardır hiçbir inceleme yapılmaması ve AYM'nin tedbir talebimizi reddetmesi ile AİHM başvurumuzu da tamamladık. Ankara'da kaybedilen bir insan için AİHM'e ve BM'ye başvuru yapmamız gerekmesi çok acı. @adalet_bakanlik babam nerede? pic.twitter.com/VXJwbAVuCg
— Nursena Küçüközyiğit (@NeredeBabam) May 3, 2021
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.
Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following the coup attempt, that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.
Amnesty International issued an urgent call for action at the beginning of February for a thorough investigation of Küçüközyiğit’s disappearance.
Nearly 30 people have reportedly been abducted by Turkish intelligence since 2016. Most of the abductions targeted members of the Gülen movement. Many of the abductees mysteriously reappeared in police custody in Ankara after six to nine-month absences.