Top court orders state to compensate Agos columnist
Oya Armutçu – ANKARA
Turkey’s Constitution Court has ordered the state to pay Baskın Oran, the columnist of Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, 27,000 Turkish Liras (around $4,400) in spiritual damages due to a lack of an inadequate investigation into the death threats that Oran had received.
In 2008, Oran started to receive death threats after authoring a 2004-dated report criticizing the treatment of minority groups in Turkey. He filed criminal complaint at the local courts, with the judiciary process lasting six years. One suspect was charged with sending an e-mail on behalf of the group Turkish Revenge Brigade (TİT) and received a jail term of one year and eight months, but the relevant sentence was suspended.
Oran then on April 3, 2014 applied to the Constitution Court with the complaint that the judiciary had not carried out an adequate investigation regarding his case.
The top court in a recent ruling said the judiciary had been “ineffective” regarding Oran’s case and the state was in violation of the right to life. It added that following the preparation of the relevant minority report, a campaign against Oran had taken place and a safe writing environment was no longer the case for him.