Cumhuriyet Newspaper Wins Case, Turkey Convicted

ECHR convicted Turkey of violating the freedom of expression for issuing an injunction on an article by Cumhuriyet newspaper after Abdullah Gül filed a complaint prior to presidential elections in 2007.

BIANET 10.10.2013 – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found Turkey guilty of violating the freedom of expression for issuing an injunction on an article by Cumhuriyet newspaper after Abdullah Gül filed a complaint prior to presidential elections in 2007. The court ordered the Turkish government to pay each applicant editor 2500 euros as non-pecuniary damages and 5100 euros as court expenses. 

Cumhuriyet, a major daily newspaper in Turkey, republished The Guardian’s interview with Abdullah Gül in the wake of presidential elections in 2007. 

“The republic era is over in Turkey. We would like this secular system changed,” Gül told The Guardian in 1995. 

ECHR ruling underlined that courts had to respect defense rights before deciding on publish bans and injunctions.  

Gül filed a complaint for 50,000 liras as damages and an injunction order, saying that he didn’t use the words which were published on Cumhuriyet newspaper. Upon that, Ankara Assize Court issued an injunction. 

In 2008, after his election as president, Gül  withdrew from the case. However, the injunction lasted for 11 months. (EA/BM) 

* Click here to read the original article in Turkish.