The Turkish Interior Ministry was found to be 90% at fault in the case filed over the death of 12-year-old Ceylan Önkol, who died in a mortar shell explosion in Diyarbakır (Amed), Turkey, on 28 September 2009. As a result of the hearing, the ministry was ordered to pay indemnity.
The case was filed by the Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch after the incident. The Diyarbakır 2nd Administrative Court ruled that the Interior Ministry must pay material and moral indemnity of 283,000 Turkish lira to the Önkol family.
Referring to an expert report which revealed the mortar shell exploded after Ceylan Önkol hit the mortar with an object in her hand, the court showed that the ministry was 90% responsible. The court decreased the amount of moral indemnity demanded by the family from 150,000 TL to 100,000 TL and sentenced the ministry to pay the family 283,000 TL in total.
According to a Mesopotamia Agency report (MA), the Lice Chief Prosecutor’s Office attended the scene three days after the incident. Afterwards the prosecution issued a confidentiality order on the case file. The Önkol family’s lawyers objected to the decision several times, but all objections were rejected. For that reason, lawyers took the case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). However, the ECHR ruled in 2017 that there was no violation in the incident.
The prosecution put the case file aside in 2014 because it could not be confirmed who was responsible for the ammunition (mortar shell) found where Önkol was herding sheep.
The İHD Diyarbakır Branch later filed a claim for compensation. The court decided the ministry should pay indemnity to the family, but the State Council reversed the judgement in 2019 and sent the case file to court again.