Top court overturns ruling against Kucuk, cites freedom of expression

Following the release of the book in 2007, then-Foreign Minister Gul sued Kucuk, seeking TL 15,000 in damages for allegedly libelous statements the author made about Gul in his book. The Ankara 6th Court of First Instance ruled in favor of the damages, but Kucuk appealed the decision to the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court has now decided that the decision to order Kucuk to pay damages to Gul violated Article 26 of the Turkish Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and dissemination of thought in the country.

Kucuk hit headlines in 2008 when he was accused of being one of the leaders of the Ergenekon organization, a clandestine terrorist network believed to have been behind many violent attacks staged for the ultimate purpose of triggering a coup against the government.

The journalist was arrested in 2009 but released pending trial after a brief stay in prison. He is known to have close ties to Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Several pictures of him posing with members of the PKK and Ocalan reached the media. He also visited camps organized by Ocalan, who he has referred to as “my brother.”