Court fines daily Star and Ergun Babahan for column about Aydın Doğan
ISTANBULTurkish daily Star and its then-columnist Ergun Babahan have been fined 6,000 Turkish Liras for “violating the personal rights” of Doğan Holding Honorary President Aydın Doğan in a column published on Feb. 1, 2012.
The Bakırköy 8th Civil Court of First Instance had initially fined Babahan and Star 10,000 liras. The Court of Appeals cancelled the decision, saying the compensation was too high. The court then retried the case and leveled a 6,000-lira fine as compensation on Oct. 15, 2014. On March 9, the Court of Appeals approved the decision. Şehnaz Yüzer, Doğan’s lawyer, collected 11,280 liras in compensation with interest.
Yüzer complained about Babahan’s column titled “Aydın Doğan’s love for Hilton continues,” published in Star. In his column, Babahan claimed Doğan was going to demolish the Hilton building and construct new buildings, spending billions of liras.
Doğan’s lawyer said in the complaint against the newspaper and the columnist that the column violated the borders of “press freedom, reporting, criticism” and also said the column violated Doğan’s personal rights and attempted to defame him.
The court’s reasoning approved by the court of appeals stated if a news story included “insulting and dishonest statements and was published with the aim of creating personal sensation,” then it should be regarded as unlawful.