Refusal to register Turkish associations

Bekir-Ousta and others group v Greece (Appl. No. 35151/05)

Documents from the September 2019 briefing:

  • Memo by by Mr Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson of the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)

  • July 2019 GHM Rule 9 about the case

Documents from the 2018 Briefing:

  • Memo by Mr Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson of the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM)

  • September and October GHM Rule 9 about this case

Documents from the 2017 briefing:

 These cases concern violations of the right to freedom of association (Article 11) due to the refusal to register Turkish minority associations (Bekir-Ousta and Others and Emin and Others; final domestic decisions in 2006 and 2005 respectively).

Mr Dimitras, from the Greek Helsinki Monitor, gave a summary of the developments since the last examination of the case by the CM, in December 2017. In February 2018, the Cultural Association of Turkish Women of the Prefecture of Xanthi was refused registration on similar grounds as in the present group of cases. In its 2018 communications, mentioned Mr Dimitras, Greece has refused to address the CM December 2017 concerns on these developments. More importantly, the Supreme Court Judgment dissolving the Turkish Union of Xanthi(which was the first of the three Turkish minority associations of the group of cases that filed an application for the reopening of the domestic proceedings), was considered by the Greek government as irrevocable. This means, Mr Dimitras explained, “that any similar applications for the reopening of the proceedings on the basis of Articles 29 and 30 of Law 4491/2017 by ethnic Turkish and ethnic Macedonian minority associations vindicated by the ECtHR will have no chance to become admissible by domestic courts”.

Mr Dimitras updated the delegates in September 2019, underlining that no progress had been made with regard to legislative measures to change the procedure for registration of these associations, in a way that would be consistent with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Panayote called for the relevant legislative changes to be made – failing which, the Committee of Ministers should issue an Interim Resolution in early 2020.