Constitutional Court declares court order to remove article to be illegal

The website, which reports on financial issues, ran an article about two Turkish companies titled “Cemas-Cevik relations.” The article was taken off the site after the owner of one of the companies lodged a complaint.

The Uskudar 4th Criminal Court of Peace, located in İstanbul, ruled for the removal of the article. In addition, the Uskudar 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance rejected an objection to the ruling by the owners of the website. The owners of then lodged a petition with the Constitutional Court, claiming that the ruling violated their right to freedom of speech and media freedoms.

The Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that the communication of opinions, including dissenting views, via all mediums is necessary in a democratic system. It said freedom of the press and freedom of speech are of paramount importance and that free speech is one of the main tenets of a functioning democratic society.

The court decided that the decision to remove the article violates Article 26 of the Constitution, which states that “everyone has the right to express and disseminate his/her thoughts and opinions by speech, in writing or in pictures or through other media, individually or collectively.”

In addition, the Constitutional Court ruled that the decisions handed down by the preliminary courts infringed Article 28 of the Constitution, which states that “the press is free, and shall not be censored. The establishment of a printing house shall not be subject to prior permission or the deposit of a financial guarantee.”