Court acquits protester for ‘insulting president’ upon AYM ruling

A Turkish court on Dec. 22 acquitted one SOL (Left) Party member previously charged for “insulting the Turkish President” during a 2015 protest after the Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled that the conviction violated the right to free expression. 

Duvar English 

A court in Turkey’s Black Sea province Zonguldak acquitted SOL (Left) Party member Hüseyin Karadağ for “insulting the Turkish President” in a retrial after the Constitutional Court (AYM) found rights violation in Karadağ’s initial conviction.

Karadağ was among nine people put on trial for their slogans during the 2015 protests organized in Zonguldak against the Oct. 10, 2015 Ankara Massacre, according to reporting by the daily BirGün

The local court sentenced eight people to prison sentences ranging from 11 months to two years. Hüseyin Karadağ’s appeal to this initial sentence was denied by higher courts.

Karadağ then filed an individual application to the AYM, which is the highest domestic court in the country to apply for a violation of rights.

The top court's verdict stated, “The speeches and slogans of the convicted person are within the bounds of criticism and are considered freedom of expression, thus the conviction violates the right to freedom of expression.” 

The Zonguldak court retried and acquitted Karadağ after the AYM verdict. 

The court ruling stated that Karadağ was acquitted as no clear and certain evidence linked the individual to the action constituting the crime.