ECHR finds Turkey guilty in two free speech cases


The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey in two cases, it announced on June 17, upholding complaints brought against the country on the grounds that free speech was violated.

The EU judicial body fined Turkey 27,000 euros in a case filed by daily Evrensel. The newspaper’s owner Ahmet Sami Belek and its editor-in-chief İsmail Muzaffer Özkurt had sued Turkey after national courts fined it over reports related to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in six cases in 2008-2009. 
The ECHR ruled that Turkey violated Article 10 (Freedom of Expression) and Article 6 (Right to a Free Trial) of the European Convention of Human Rights in all six cases.

In a separate case, the court fined Turkey 6,000 euros for recalling a bi-monthly periodical from the market for its coverage of the PKK. Memet Aslan, the owner of Dema Nu magazine, and editor-in-chief Zozan Sezen, applied to the ECHR in 2004 and 2005. Article 10 was violated in both cases, the court ruled.

Under Articles 43 and 44 of the Convention, Chamber judgments are not final. During the three-month period following a judgment’s delivery, any party may request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber of the Court.


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