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Case Law 37483/02 (21/10/2008)

Type: Judgment

Authority: European Authorities: European Court of human rights

Date: 10/21/2008

Subject: In September 2001 Ms Erdagöz brought an action for rectification of the spelling of her forename, asserting that she was called “Gözel”, not “Güzel”, and that her friends and family had always called her that. The courts refused her application on the ground that the spelling which the applicant wished to use was based on the regional pronunciation of the word chosen as the name and did not appear in the dictionary of the Turkish language. Relying on Articles 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination), the applicant complained of the refusal of her application, submitting that, as her forename of Kurdish origin had been “Turkicised”, she had been the victim of discriminatory treatment based on language and her membership of the Kurdish national minority. The Court considered that the refusal of the applicant’s request by the Turkish courts, which was not based on any clearly established legislation or any sufficient and relevant reasoning, could not be regarded as “necessary in a democratic society”. It held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 8 and that it was not necessary to examine separately the complaint under Article 14.

Parties: Güzel Erdagöz c/ Turchia

Classification: Freedoms - Art. 7 Privacy