Turkey’s top court rejects individual appeals of sentenced journalists
Turkey’s Constitutional Court has rejected the individual appeals of journalists Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan on May 3, finding no rights violations in their lawsuits filed for aiding the plotters of a 2016 failed coup attempt, while ruling for a violation of rights in the case of Ali Bulaç, a former columnist of closed Zaman newspaper.
Ilıcak’s social media posts from July 16 and 17 – only a few days after the coup attempt of July 15, 2016 – which were regarded as “in favor of the coup attempt” were taken into special consideration by the court.
Meanwhile, the court has decided that there exists a rights violation for Bulaç, who faced trial on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization.”
The sentenced journalists had applied to the top court separately for the “violation of expression and press freedom, the unlawfulness of detention and arrest measures and the violation of rights to security and freedom.”
Besides Ilıcak, Altan and Bulaç, seven more journalists had applied to the Constitutional Court including journalist Murat Aksoy, former Cumhuriyet newspaper columnists Kadri Gürsel and Bülent Utku, Cumhuriyet Foundation member Önder Çelik, Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu and journalists Ahmet Şık and Akın Atalay.
Among the latter, the court ruled on May 2 that only Kadri Gürsel and Murat Aksoy’s right to security and freedom were violated.
The remaining five applications were rejected by the court.