Akyıldız Law Firm

The firm providing legal services to local and international clients throughout Turkey and assisting clients in foreing jurisdictions.

ECHR judgments concerning Turkey-April 2009

Turnalı v. Turkey (no. 4914/03)

Violation of Article 8
The applicant, Yıldız Turnalı, is a Turkish national who was born in 1954 and lives in Izmir (Turkey). She asserts that she was born from an extra-marital relationship between her mother and Hasan Yavaş. Mr Yavaş died in 2000 without legally recognising Mrs Turnalı as his child. Relying in particular on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial), the applicant complained of the Turkish courts’ rejection of her action to establish that Mr Yavaş was her father and to be recognised as his heir. The Court noted in particular that Article 296 of the Civil Code required paternity actions to be brought “within one year of the child’s birth”. It considered that, in the particular circumstances of the case, the fact that Mrs Turnalı had been unable to plead the existence of circumstances capable of justifying her delay in bringing the paternity action was incompatible with the requirements of Article 8. It accordingly held by five votes to two that there had been a violation of Article 8 and that it was not necessary to examine the complaint under Article 6 § 1. It further held, by five votes to two, that the finding of a violation constituted in itself sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant. (The judgment is available only in French.)