ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum


Date posted: July 23, 2021

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Tuesday ruled that Bulgaria violated the rights of a Turkish journalist who had fled Ankara’s crackdown on dissent by deporting him without examining his asylum request.

ECtHR said Bulgaria was in breach of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered the payment of 15,000 euros in non-pecuniary damages to the applicant, D, whose name was not revealed.

The ECtHR held that the Bulgarian authorities did not examine D’s application for international protection despite the fact that he said he might face ill-treatment if he were deported to Turkey.

Based on the statements included in the court’s ruling, D was a journalist for the Zaman daily and Cihan news agency, part of the Feza Media Group. The group was seized by the government on March 4, 2016 over its alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement, to be subsequently closed down with an emergency decree-law issued after a failed coup on July 15, 2016.

D said he left Turkey in the aftermath of the abortive putsch, at a time when a range of measures were being taken against media outlets and journalists, including dismissal, arrest, detention and confiscation of passports. He then crossed the border between Turkey and Bulgaria hidden in a truck with eight other passengers — six Turkish and two Syrian nationals.

They were detained at a Bulgarian border police station and sought asylum, citing fear of persecution in Turkey. But the Bulgarian authorities did not examine their cases. On October 15, 2016, at about 5:30 a.m., D was handcuffed and taken with the six other Turkish passengers to the Kapitan Andreevo border post, where they were handed over to the Turkish authorities.

D was immediately jailed in Turkey and was convicted of membership in a terrorist organization and sentenced to seven years, six months’ imprisonment. He is currently incarcerated in Kocaeli’s Kandıra Prison.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He locked up thousands including many prosecutors, judges and police officers involved in the investigation as well as journalists who reported on them.

Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Turkey is one of the world’s biggest jailers of professional journalists and ranked 153rd among 180 countries in terms of press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom’s “Jailed and Wanted Journalists in Turkey” database, 173 journalists are behind bars in Turkey and 167 are wanted and either in exile or at large.

Source: Stockholm Center for Freedom , July 22, 2021


Related News

Turkish headmaster accused of Isis links met Malaysian PM, not fit profile of an Isis operative

Karaman, who was the principle of a prestigious international school that promotes critical thinking as well as holding his post with the Malaysian-Turkish Dialogue Society, does not fit the stereotypical profile of an Isis operative.

5 children abandoned in front of prison as mother detained

A video shared on social media shows five children left alone in tears in front of a Prison in Ankara after their mother was detained while they were visiting their father in prison. In the video a child opens the door of a car in the prison parking lot, showing his brothers crying, and says in tears, “We are five brothers, left alone. We have a handicapped brother. I commend those people to God’s punishment.”

Erdoğan using hate speech against Gülen movement, says MEP

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s accusations against a faith-based movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen amidst a corruption scandal are both uncalled for and amount to “a kind of hate speech” that has the risk of sparking violence against the group, a senior member of the European Parliament has said.

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

It seems that the bias of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the highest judicial body in Turkey, may force the Turkish government to pay a large sum of money, according to a prominent computer expert, who monitors erroneous decisions of the Constitutional Court on Internet applications used by Turkish citizens.

Animation – Story of Turkish teacher Gokhan Acikkollu, tortured to death under police custody

Gökhan Açıkkollu, a history teacher suffering from diabetes, died of torture in police custody as part of a post-coup investigation into Turkey’s Gülen group. He was found innocent one-and-a-half years later and “reinstated” to his job a year later.

Why the West ‘failed to understand’ Turkey

Erdoğan has exploited the presence of Gülen-inspired people in the state bureaucracy as a tool to silence all opposition and grasp yet more power. If the Gülen movement did not exist, the president would have needed to create another “enemy of the state” to fight against in order to reach his ultimate aim.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences and Condemnation of the Terrorist Attack in Istanbul

Turkish opposition deputy: Women jailed with children are treated like enemies

Anatolia in Los Angeles

Turkey’s Hizmet Purge Is Seeping into the UK Creating Fear in Some Communities

Kimse Yok Mu reaches out to tin houses of South Africa

Romanian appeals court denies Turkey’s request for extradition of Erdoğan critic

Egypt Today’s interview with Fethullah Gülen, home sickness and fabricated coup

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News