Turkey: Bar Association applies to ECHR over Kurdish religious scholar's undisclosed burial ground
The Bar Association of Turkey's Kurdish-majority province of Urfa said on Monday that they filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the rejection of their application by Turkish courts to locate the graveyard of an influential Kurdish Muslim scholar whose remains were transferred to an unknown place in 1960.
Said Nursi, born in Bitlis province of the Ottoman Empire in 1877, wrote the Risale-i Nur Collection, a body of Qur'anic commentary exceeding six thousand pages, and inspired a religious movement that currently numbers several millions of followers worldwide. He believed that modern science and logic was the way of the future, and he advocated teaching religious sciences in secular schools and modern sciences in religious schools.
Four months after he died in Urfa in 1960 and two months after the 27 May military coup in Turkey, his grave was opened and his remains were taken to an unknown location, by a military team allegedly led by colonel Alparslan Turkes who was later to found the far right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Urfa Bar Association went to court after the Governorship of Urfa said in reply to an application for the location of Nursi's graveyard that it did not have information on it.
Following a rejection of the case by an Urfa court and the reversal of the decision by an appeals court, the case was reviewed by another court that issued a conclusive rejection.
The Bar Association consequently filed a complaint on 26 September with the ECHR, on grounds of the 10th article of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right "to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority."