Turkey’s Court of Appeals decides for ex-minister to pay compensation for not obeying court order
Mesut Hasan Benli – ANKARATurkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has decided former Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik and three bureaucrats to pay compensation to a former provincial education head of the Giresun province on grounds of not applying a court order, which had ruled for the latter’s return of duty.
Çelik, Turkey’s education minister from 2003 until 2009, and three other bureaucrats were fined 20,000 Turkish Liras each by the Supreme Court of Appeals for not implementing a court rule, stating that “everyone had the obligation to abide by jurisdictional decisions.”
Halit Azizoğlu, the former provincial education head of the Black Sea province of Giresun, was appointed as a specialist to the Presidency of the Research, Planning and Coordination Authority in 2004.
Azizoğlu issued a criminal file for the nullity of the judgement. The court first adopted a motion for stay of execution and then canceled the appointment of Azizoğlu as a specialist. Even with the court’s decision, Azizoğlu was not appointed as his former duty of Giresun’s provincial education head.
Azizoğlu sued Çelik, the ministry’s then-undersecretary, then-general director of staff and then-deputy general director, who were responsible for not implementing the court’s decision, for mental anguish.
Ankara’s 22nd Civil Court of First Instance first rejected the case, which Azizoğlu then appealed.
The 4th Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeals reversed the judgement, stating that “compensation needed to be paid,” and sent the case back to the court of first instance, which insisted on its first decision to not accept the case.
After Azizoğlu’s second appeal, the Supreme Court Assembly of Civil Chambers reversed the court of first instance’s insistence decision and ruled by a large majority for compensation to be paid to Azizoğlu.
In its reasoned decision, the Supreme Court Assembly of Civil Chambers stated that public officials, who did not implement jurisdictional decisions, had legal responsibility.
Ali Altay, Azizoğlu’s attorney, said that the last decision was taken with 44 yay to 3 nay votes at the assembly and thus it was decided that the former minister and three bureaucrats pay compensation.
Altay added that the defendants appealed with a request for the revision of the decision but the Supreme Court Assembly of Civil Chambers had not yet reached a decision on that appeal.
Supreme Court of Appeals’ decision is expected to set an example for unimplemented court orders by state authorities, especially in cases which are of concern to the whole nation.
A stay of execution decision about the controversial presidential palace, constructed on an area called the Atatürk Forest Farm (AOÇ) in the Beştepe neighborhood of the capital Ankara, has not yet been implemented.
Another stay of execution for the construction of a third bridge crossing over the Bosphorus has not been implemented. Construction of the bridge is still ongoing.