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Forced Displacement in Turkey: Pushing the Limits of the ECHR System

International Migration

Published online on


This article presents research findings on regional human rights tribunals and forced displacement. It assesses the response of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) system to “village destructions” and “village returns” complaints lodged against Turkey and originating from the conflict between State security forces and the PKK (Partiya Karkarȇn Kurdistan). Within academic literature the role of the ECHR in Turkey tends to be reduced to discussion of a handful of substantive decisions. This article argues that there is much to be gained from closer examination of the (changing) dynamics of the ECHR in Turkey and the regulation of displacement. Two innovations can be observed from this case‐study: a special level of ‘protective’ access and a proactive approach to fact‐finding. The Turkish cases indicate a need for further investigation of the role of fact‐finding in cases of displacement and the development of context‐specific rules on sustainable returns processes.