Constitutional Court Ruling of ‘Non-Pecuniary Damages’ in Bomb Attack

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  • November 6, 2019
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The Constitutional Court has given its justified ruling on Ucar family who were injured in a bomb attack in Aydin. The Court has ruled that the case shall be heard again as the family has a right to receive non-pecuniary damages.

The Constitutional Court has announced its justified ruling on minibus driver Cemal Ucar and his son Ibrahim Ucar, who were injured in a bomb attack launched by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) 14 years ago in Kusadasi.

The Court has concluded that the father and son, who were not paid non-pecuniary damages, have a right to receive non-pecuniary damages.

Accordingly, the Constitutional Court has ruled that the file of their case shall be referred to the local court to hear the case again. Regarding the local court that rejected Ucar family's request for damages, the Court has concluded that "the right to access courts within the frame of right to a fair trial guaranteed by the Article 36 of the Constitution has been violated."

Five people lost their lives in the attack

The PKK launched a bomb attack in a bus in the district of Kusadasi in Turkey's Aegean province of Aydin on July 16, 2005. While five people, including two tourists, lost their lives in the attack, minibus driver Cemal Ucar and his 15-year-old son and assistant at minibus Ibrahim Ucar were injured. Their minibus was totalled. Making a statement on behalf of the PKK, Murat Karayilan stated that the PKK did not launch the attack.

The Forensic Medicine Institute gave a medical report for Cemal Ucar, indicating that he was stressed and psychologically traumatized by the incident and these effects could last for two months. His son Ibrahim Ucar was also reported unfit for work by 49 percent.

Both the father and son applied to the Damage Determination Commission of Aydin Governorship, requesting that the damages falling within the scope of Law no. 5233 on Compensation of Damages Incurred by Terror and Counter-Terrorism be covered. The Commission offered to pay Cemal Ucar 1,194.20 TRY and his son Ibrahim Ucar 7,165.20 TRY in pecuniary damages.

The father and son did not accept the offer and filed a lawsuit at the Aydin 1st Administrative Court. Announcing its verdict on December 20, 2011, the court partially accepted their requests for pecuniary damages while it rejected their requests for non-pecuniary damages.

The court gave the above verdict by referring to the Law no. 5233 and indicated that "while it was possible to compensate the material damages suffered by people as a result of terror incidents, it was not possible to compensate their immaterial damages."

Case will be heard again

After the Council of State upheld the verdict of the local court, Cemal and Ibrahim Ucar appealed to the Constitutional Court. The justified ruling of the Court was published on the Official Gazette today (November 6).

The ruling of the Court has indicated that even though the lawsuit for damages was not based on the Law no. 5233, the local court reviewed the case and rejected the request for non-pecuniary damages based on this law.

Concluding that "there was an intervention against the applicants' right to access court", the Constitutional Court has ruled that the file of the case shall be referred to the local court so that the case could be heard again.

Source: English Bianet