Ocalan sued Greece at the European Court of Justice

Abdullah Ocalan sued Greece at the European Court of Human Rights over the 1998 case.

The European Court of Human Rights (EDAD) recorded and processed his case Abdullah Ocalan against Greece and requested defense from Athens.

More specifically, Abdullah Ocalan was once again on the agenda of the ECtHR. However, this time Ocalan was the plaintiff against Greece, not Turkey. The focus of the lawsuit is Ocalan’s arrival in Greece in 1998, his application for asylum in that country and his surrender to the Turkish authorities in Kenya in February 1999.

Abdullah Ocalan, in his application to the ECtHR through his lawyers, argued that the practices against him during his stay in Greece were contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).


In his application, Ocalan argued that

  • it is contrary to many articles of the ECHR that he was handed over to the Turkish authorities while in the hands of the Greek authorities in Kenya,
  • that his application for asylum in Greece was not examined,
  • that he was detained without a legal basis during his stay in Greece
  • and that he was not given the opportunity to seek his rights before the Greek courts.

Ocalan’s positions

Ocalan, who came to Greece for the first time on October 9, 1998, revealed that was “mistreated” by the Greek policewhich violated Article 3 of the ECHR prohibiting inhuman treatment and ill-treatment.

Ocalan defended the position that his transfer from Greece to Kenya and his handover to the Turkish authorities there violated Article 2 of the ECHR on the right to life and Article 3 on ill-treatment.

The fact that Otsalan was detained “de facto” and without legal basis during his stay in Greek territory (October 9, 1998 Athens airport, January 29-February 2, 1999 Corfu island, February 2-15, 1999 Greek Embassy in Kenya) relates to the ECHR right to liberty and security. It claimed that there had been a violation of Article 5.

Ocalan, to whom he was not allowed to file a lawsuit before the Greek administrative courts against the rejection of his asylum application, he argued that it violated Article 6 of the ECHR on the right to a fair trial.

Procedure in Greece

Otsalan appealed to the Athens Administrative Court on 4 December 2008 before the proceedings before the ECtHR and defended the position that the decisions taken by the Greek authorities in 1999 were contrary to the principle that a person who has applied for asylum twice cannot is sent back.

In this context, Otsalan’s request for moral damages of 20,100 euros was rejected by the Athens Administrative Court on January 30, 2017.

In the reasoned decision of the Administrative Court it was noted that “the policy followed by the Greek government was beyond the control of the administrative jurisdiction”, “the period between January 29 and February 15 was not sufficient time to consider Ocalan’s asylum application” and “the state cannot be held responsible for damage caused by the fault of intelligence personnel.”

ECtHR procedure

While the ECtHR was processing Ocalan’s application, it sought the opinion of the Greek government and Ocalan’s lawyers. The court asked the Greek government if “Ocalan was handed over to the Turkish state by Greek agents?”

The parties have 12 weeks to submit their opinion to the Court. Based on these views, the ECtHR is expected to issue a decision on the Ocalan v. Greece case within the next year. The court may also hold a hearing during this process.

The article is in Greek

Tags: Ocalan sued Greece European Court Justice

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