Constitutional Court rejects Pastor Brunson’s application on rights violations
The Constitutional Court on Jan. 7 unanimously rejected U.S. citizen Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson’s application over a “violation” of his rights.
The Constitutional Court concluded the application for Brunson, who was at the heart of a dispute between the U.S. and Turkey two years ago.
The high court decided that the allegations that the right to liberty and security of the person were violated on the grounds that the detention was unlawful, and the detention exceeded the reasonable period was inadmissible due to the statute of limitations.
The Constitutional Court also ruled that the alleged violation of the right to liberty and security on the grounds that the judicial control measure by not leaving the residence was unlawful was inadmissible. The court also unanimously agreed on this decision.
Brunson was arrested in December 2016 and charged in the Aegean province of İzmir with being a member of FETÖ, the group believed to have been behind a defeated coup earlier that year.
After being transferred this July from jail to house arrest, on Oct. 12 Brunson was sentenced to just over three years in prison but released due to time served and his good behavior in custody. He returned to the United States.
The charges against him included spying for both FETÖ and the PKK.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s threatening and imposing sanctions on Turkey over the issue sparked bilateral tensions and spooked markets.
High court rules violation of rights for journalist Alpay
The Constitutional Court, for the third time, concluded on Jan. 7 that the “right to personal liberty and security” of journalist Şahin Alpay has been violated.
The right to personal liberty and security guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution has been violated, the high court said and ruled that Alpay shall be paid 20,000 liras in non-pecuniary damages.
The detailed ruling of the Constitutional Court was published in the Official Gazette. The ruling of the court recalled that the release of Alpay was decided after the second violation decision against the applicant. However, the intervention against the right to liberty and security of the person continued by the ruling of the judicial control measure not to leave the house, said the court.
“The precondition of a strong sign of criminal activity, which was a prerequisite to impose the judicial control measure in the form of not letting the person leave his or her residence,” was not met in the case of Alpay, said the court.
It was concluded that the violation detected by the Constitutional Court in the decision on the applicant and its consequences were not eliminated by the courts of instance, according to the ruling.
Alpay was arrested shortly after a failed coup in July 2016 and had remanded in pre-trial detention in late July 2016.
Now-defunct Zaman daily columnist Şahin was sentenced to a prison sentence on charges of being a member of a terror organization, FETÖ.
In January 2018, the Constitutional Court had ruled that Alpay should be released on the grounds that his rights had been violated.
But the lower criminal courts hearing his cases defied the decision and he was kept in jail. After the January 2018 court ruling, Alpay applied for a second time to the Constitutional Court, which again ruled on March 16, 2018 by a majority vote that his rights had been violated while in detention. Alpay was released from prison after being arrested for 20 months, but the court imposed him to remain in his house.