Disciplinary action against teachers who attended 2011 rally rights violation: Top court
Oya Armutçu – ANKARA
Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that two teachers’ right to assembly and demonstration was violated when they were given disciplinary action for attending a trade union’s event supporting education in native language in September 2011.
The top court ruled that the administrative authorities should pay 2,000 Turkish Liras (around $375) in non-pecuniary damages to each of the applicants and cover the litigation expenses.
The court also sent the case to the 2nd Administrative Court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır for a retrial in order to “resolve the consequences rooting from rights violations.”
On Sept. 19, 2011 the two public school teachers, also members of the Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen), attended the union’s event to support education in the native language in Diyarbakır.
Following the event, the Education Ministry took disciplinary action against both teachers on grounds that they attended a press release after the event where the ministry said slogans supportive of the illegal PKK were chanted.
Objections to the disciplinary action decision were overruled, prompting both teachers file individual applications to the Constitutional Court on June 22, 2015.
The top court ruled that the disciplinary action violates their right to assembly and demonstration, which the constitution protects under Article 34.
“The Constitutional Court has reached the conclusion that the disciplinary action taken against the applicants is not in line with the necessities of the democratic social order and their right to march has been violated,” the ruling said.
Article 34 of the constitution stipulates that everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration marches without prior permission.