Turkey's Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled that police officers violated the rights of journalist Beyza Kural Yılancı by handcuffing her behind her back in a critical ruling for journalists without press cards, ANKA News Agency reported on Feb. 18.
Many media workers in Turkey are unable to obtain press cards from the Communications Directorate run by the president's office, unless they are employed by pro-government outlets, which make up the majority of the media landscape in the country.
The AYM ruled that the police handcuffed the journalist behind her back in an attempt to "humiliate and discipline her," which the court said was "inhumane," and granted 15,000 liras (approximately $2,150) in non-pecuniary damages to Yılancı.
"The investigation found no necessity to use force against the petitioner. On the contrary, the footage of the incident shows that the petitioner was detained and handcuffed arbitrarily," the top court ruling said.
Yılancı was reporting on a student protest on Nov. 5, 2015, when police detained her by force and cuffed her hands behind her back even though she told them she was a member of the press.
"Nothing is the same as it used to be, we're going to teach you this," the police officer is heard telling Yılancı in the recording which she taped during her detention.
The journalist was released from detention when another officer realized she was a member of the press and the police vehicle happened to be at full capacity.