The applicants are the correspondent, the owner and the publisher of the newspaper, who makes the news in a national newspaper. In the copy of the newspaper dated 2/10/2013, which also contains photos of the plaintiff (teacher), “They made the martyr’s daughter cry!”, and 10. an article was written about how a female student who was studying in the classroom was subjected to oppression and persecution at her school, where she went in a headscarf
Stating that the claimant’s personal rights were damaged due to the relevant news, the First Instance Civil Court rejected the compensation case filed against the applicants. After the decision was taken to the court of appeal, the District Court of Justice decided to award a total of TL 5,000 jointly and severally against the applicants.
The applicants submitted that their freedom of expression and press had been violated by the fact that compensation had been ordered against them for a news story they had published in a national newspaper.
Assessment of the Court
“Some unknowns are hostile to those who cover up their grudges and hatred just to satisfy their egos, ” the District Court of the Courthouse said in the news. Here is another new example…” he concluded that the statements were not covered by the right to criticism and freedom of expression, and by adding the plaintiff’s photo, a perception was created that the plaintiff was acting as if he was acting as a religious enemy, a head covering enemy, contrary to reality. The Court decided that the news was not in accordance with the apparent reality when viewed in its entirety and that it was an attack on the plaintiff’s personality rights.
One of the main points on which the appeal authority based the compensation in the news about the application is that the plaintiff teacher behaved badly to his student because he came to school veiled, and the claims that the student faced negative attitudes in this context do not reflect the truth. The events taken as a whole, due to wear the headscarf in the student’s school-fair or not – which is the source of the claim that is exposed to heavy pressure and threats of the people shown in the news, in this regard, acting in accordance with the responsibilities of journalists, processed, contrary to the apparent reality of the factual allegations baseless and have not been evaluated.
With the change in the regulation on the dress and clothes of students in schools affiliated to the Ministry of Education, it became possible for middle and high school students to go to school with a headscarf on 27/9/2014. In the period before the regulation change, the issue of whether students at this age can go to schools with a headscarf was discussed a lot and these discussions took a wide place in public. The news was written about an incident that was of concern to a large segment of society in the recent period before the change in the regulation.
It can be assumed that the statements contained in the news are hurtful to the plaintiff. However, according to the Constitutional Court, public servants in particular should be more tolerant of criticism about their savings. The fact that public officials contribute to the decision-making processes of citizens by subjecting their actions and omissions to strict supervision is one of the requirements of the indispensable tolerance of a democratic society. In this context, the mere fact that the described idea is heavy-handed, harshly criticizes the authorities, is expressed using sharp language, or even is one-sided, contradictory and subjective does not mean that freedom of expression will not benefit from the scope of protection.
It has been assessed that the statements based on the assessment of the District Court of Justice are intended to be a heavy criticism of the opposing attitude of a student wearing a hijab at school by his teachers, are intended to draw attention to this issue, and are related to a discussion that has a public benefit. In addition, in the face of the understanding that the student was warned in front of his other friends because he was wearing a hijab, he was heavily criticized in the news caused by the plaintiff’s own behavior; in this aspect, it has been concluded that the statements contained in the news do not constitute an unprovoked attack.
Despite these findings, the District Court of Justice made an assessment without discussing the conditions, context and factual basis of the statements during the period when the statements subject to the application were used, removing some of the statements from their context and considering that they had an adequate factual basis, and decided to pay compensation against the applicants.
Considering the decision of the Regional Court of Justice with the conclusions reached by the Constitutional Court, it cannot be said that the court struck a fair balance between the applicants ‘ freedom of expression and the plaintiff’s right to decency and reputation. The grounds offered by the District Court of Justice to justify its acceptance of the case against the applicants were not considered appropriate and adequate, the applicants were found to be in violation of Article 26 of the Constitution. and 28th. the opinion has been reached that the restrictions applied to the freedoms of expression and the press within the scope of the articles do not correspond to the social need for justification.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that the freedoms of expression and the press have been violated on the grounds described.