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Öneryildiz v. Turkey (application no. 48939/99) 30 November 2004

Facts: The applicant lived in a slum quarter of Istanbul surrounding a rubbish tip which exploded because of the decomposition of the refuge and killed 9 of his relatives. A report showed that the authorities failed to take any measures at the tip in question to prevent an explosion of methane.  

Complaint: The applicant claimed that there had been a violation of Articles 2 (right to life), 13 (right to an effective remedy), 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention, and of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).

Holding: the ECHR held that there had been a violation of articles 2, 1 and 13 of the Convention.

Reasoning: the Turkish authorities had known or ought to have known that there was a real risk to persons living near the rubbish tip so they had had an obligation under Article 2 of the Convention to take operational measures to protect individuals living near the rubbish tip. As they failed to do so, they breached article 2. Furthermore, there was a positive obligation on the State under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to take the practical steps to avoid the destruction of the dwelling, which was not fulfilled either. Finally, the compensations to the applicant were not appropriate and timely so there had been a violation of article 13 too.


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