Nusret Kaya and Others v. Turkey (Applications nos. 43750/06, 43752/06, 32054/08, 37753/08 and 60915/08) [Extracts]

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.

59. Admittedly, the Court has previously acknowledged that specific security considerations – such as the prevention of escape attempts – might justify the application of a particular detention regime and the prohibiting of a prisoner from corresponding with his relatives in the language of his choosing, where it has not been established that it would be impossible for him to use one of the permitted languages (see Baybaşın, cited above). That being said, the Court would observe that, in the circumstances of the present case, the Rules in issue were generally applicable to all inmates without distinction, regardless of any individual assessment of the requirements, in terms of security, that might stem from the person’s character or the offences with which he was charged. It further takes the view that the domestic courts could not have been unaware, when assessing the applicants’ requests to make telephone calls in Kurdish, that this language was one of those most commonly spoken in Turkey – unlike the situation in issue in Baybaşın– and that it was used by some inmates in the context of their family relations. In spite of that, the courts do not appear to have envisaged a system of translation. The Court reiterates that it is an essential part of a prisoner’s right to respect for family life that the prison authorities assist him in maintaining contact with his family (see, among other authorities, Baybaşın, cited above, and Van der Ven v. the Netherlands,no. 50901/99, § 68, ECHR 2003‑II). In that connection, it observes that there is no reason for it to call into question the applicants’ assertion that Kurdish was the language used in their family relations, or that this was the only language understood by their relatives, a fact that the Court considers to be of significance in the present case.

62. Having regard to the foregoing, the Court finds that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.


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