The European Court of Human Rights convicted Turkey of violating freedom of speech in the case of Ferhat Tunç, a singer who was ordered to pay a fine for having a dissident speech during a concert.
The case concerned a fine imposed on him, being accused of having made comments during his performance at an authorized concert.
The court ruled that Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the Convention have been violated.
Turkey was ordered to pay Tunç a combined fine of 3,250 euros (non-pecuniary damage) and 1,000 euros (costs and expenses).
The verdict, on the other hand, doesn’t cite any comments on Tunç’s additional complaint that he had been discriminated as a Kurd.
“My FoE was violated, I was discriminated as well”
On 4 August 2003 Tunç took part, as a singer, in a concert organized by the People’s Democratic Party (DEHAP) with authorization from the prefecture. During this concert Tunç took the floor and gave a speech that was critical of the Turkish government, stating in particular that modern Turkey was neither free nor democratic. He also made comments in support of the Kurdish nationalist movements. Police reports were subsequently drawn up, as a result of which the prosecutor’s office brought charges against Tunç on 6 October 2003 for failing to obey orders, on the ground that the prefectoral authorization for the event was valid only for a concert and did not authorize speeches.
Tunç was ordered to pay a fine. On 8 December 2003 he appealed against the decision and requested a hearing. On 30 March 2004 the criminal court dismissed his appeal and his request for a hearing. Subsequently, he applied to ECHR.
28,800 euro fine in 3 months
Published on January 26, BIA Media Monitoring Report October-November-December 2014 revealed that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found Turkey guilty of Convention Article 10 on freedom of expression and not making a fair tribunal on two cases, ordering the Turkish state to pay three individuals a combined fine of 28,800 euros as pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. (EÖ/BM)
* Click here to read the article in Turkish.
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