Turkey violated right to respect for private life of teacher: ECHR
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has said in a ruling that Turkey violated a teacher’s right to respect for private and family life by denying him a teaching post abroad based on his wife’s clothing and a previous arrest that never resulted in a prosecution.
The ECHR said in its June 4-dated ruling that the decision of the Turkish Education Ministry not to appoint Abdullah Yılmaz to a post abroad had been motivated by factors relating to his private life and based on the findings of a security investigation that had revealed information about his way of life and his wife’s clothing.
“The interference with Mr. Yılmaz’s right to respect for his private life was therefore not necessary in a democratic society,” the top European rights court said in its ruling.
The case concerns Yılmaz, a teacher of religious culture in Turkey’s western province of Eskişehir. In 2000, Yılmaz came second in a competitive examination organized by the Turkish Education Ministry for appointment to a teaching post abroad. However, he was not offered the post, which was offered instead to a candidate who had come third in the examination and had already been appointed to one.
In January 2001, Yılmaz applied for a stay and for judicial review of the decision refusing to appoint him, but was unsuccessful. Subsequently, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected his application for a stay in January 2002 as well as his application for judicial review in December 2005. (He was served with the judgment in February 2006.)
Yılmaz, in his application to the ECHR, complained about the length of the proceedings, denial of his right to a fair trial and interference with his right to respect for his private life.
The ECHR found Yılmaz’s rights were violated in both instances.
The ECHR “failed to see in the present case how the fact that the applicant’s wife wore a veil and the way he behaved at home – matters falling within the private sphere – could run counter to public-interest imperatives or the needs of teaching and educational services. It further noted that the applicant’s previous arrest had not given rise to a prosecution and had also not constituted grounds for barring him from teaching in the public sector,” said the court’s statement.
The court also said that there was no cause to make an award to Yılmaz by way of just satisfaction, since he had not submitted any claims on that account.