“The Court found that Turkish courts failed to hold accountable those responsible for the death of the child and to provide appropriate redress to his parents, [and fined them for] the excessive length of the proceedings as well as the refusal of the [applicants’ plea] for legal aid,” the ruling of the court stated, requiring Turkey to pay the applicants 50,000 euros for non-pecuniary damages and 4,500 euros for costs and expenses.
The child’s parents applied to the ECtHR in April 2006 stating that in 2004, their son Atalay died in İstanbul while walking home, which was four kilometers away from his school. The municipality shuttle did not come when school closed, as it had not been notified of the early dismissal.
The conclusion of the investigation, initiated by the school inspector of the Education Directorate of İstanbul, was that the deputy headmaster of the school had been at fault for neglecting to inform the municipality’s shuttle service of the early dismissal of class. The deputy headmaster was disciplined with a warning. Even though the public prosecutor filed an indictment with a criminal court against the headmaster, the deputy headmaster and Atalay’s teacher, accusing them of misconduct in office, the court acquitted them of the charges and held that Atalay’s death was not the result of any deliberate action. The appeal proceedings are still pending before the Court of Cassation.