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Kalender v. Turkey


The case in question is about a train accident which caused the lost of two people. This case is drawing attention with it’s overtime proceedings and the fact that the government actually caused the accident by disregarding the precautionary measures.

Right to Life, The Right to Trial Within a Reasonable Time.

The case of Kalender v. Turkey is mainly about violations that happened during and after a train accident which caused two people’s death. Kadir Kalender and Şükriye Kalender were killed in that accident that occurred in the Haydarpaşa train station in 1997. The train, in which the Kalenders were travelling, stopped at the second rail although it should have stopped at the first rail because; there was another train in that rail. Thus, passengers needed to walk in order to pass to the rail and find the exit. Both of the train doors were open, and there was neither a sign or an assigned person to show people which door they should have chosen while getting off the train. So, Mrs. Kalender and her son chose the wrong side and went out through the left door. Unfortunately, there was another train in the third rail which was coming towards the Kalenders. Mrs. Kalender was stuck under the train and her son’s head was snapped while he was trying to help his mother.

After the accident, the prosecutor started an investigation claiming that the conductor of the train was negligent but liability was found to be shared between TCDD (Turkish State Railways) and the victims. According to the expert reports TCDD was found liable –safety measures in the station being insufficient- and the applicants’ relatives were found liable because they attempted to cross the track by mistake. The conductor of the train was acquitted because of the expert reports. According to the expert reports, the train station’s substructure was found insufficient because there were several deficiencies at the station. That’s why the court sent the case to the prosecutor’s office to find out whether there was a breach of TCDD in this accident. However the requested investigation was never opened.

So, the applicants brought civil proceedings against TCDD claiming material and moral compensation. After a long trial, victims were found 60% liable and TCDD was found 40% liable. The trial took 5 and a half years and the process of enforcement took 3 years. This indicates that the applicants had to wait for their rights to be compensated for almost 9 years.