Turkish Constitutional Court (AYM) president Zühtü Arslan on Oct. 1 stated that they disagreed with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the case in which the latter found Turkish authorities had violated the rights of teacher Yüksel Yalçınkaya by sentencing him to prison for “membership of the FETÖ armed terrorist organization.”
Arslan answered the questions of journalist during the new legislative year reception and said, “The Constitutional Court's decision is already clear. Therefore, they made a decision different from our decision."
A Kayseri court in 2017 sentenced Yalçınkaya to six years and three months in prison on charges of “membership of the FETÖ armed terrorist organization” for using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app Ankara says was used by the Gülen network, for having an account in the Gülenist-run Bank Asya, for being a member of “FETÖ-affiliated” associations and unions, and with the testimony of a secret witness.
The Court of Cassation in 2018 upheld the sentence and Yalçınkaya in 2019 appealed to the AYM as the highest court in the country. The top court rejected his individual application, and Yalçınkaya in 2020 appealed to the ECHR.
Arslan continued, “The judgements of the ECHR are publicly known and discussed. The latest judgement is also being discussed. In the end, the courts in Turkey will decide. We will look at the retrial process. It will come before us and we will decide then."
Tukish Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç also previously criticized the ECHR's ruling and argued the court “exceeded its authority by examining evidence.”
The judgements of the ECHR are binding as Turkey is a founding member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights.