Turkey's top court finds violation of rights in case of protesters who rallied for secular education

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the police intervention against a group of demonstrators who in 2015 called for a “secular and scientific education” amounted to a violation of their rights. The top court said that everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration marches.

Duvar English

Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that the rights of a group of demonstrators whose 2015 rally for a 'secular and scientific education' met with harsh police violence, had been violated.

The court said that the right to hold demonstrations and marches is secured by the Constitution in a ruling published in the Official Gazette on July 28, reported daily Birgün.

The case concerns the application of nine members and executives of the Union of Education Workers (Eğitim-Sen) who participated in a rally demanding a “secular, scientific education in the mother tongue” on Feb. 13, 2015 in the Aegean province of İzmir.

The rally was held upon the call of the United June Movement, a collection of pseudo-left organizations. Thousands of participants wanted to march to the İzmir Konak Square and hold a press meeting there, but faced harsh police violence. The police detained several of the demonstrators while authorities imposed an administrative fine on Eğitim-Sen executives.

Eğitim-Sen executives later appealed the administrative fines at an İzmir court, but their applications were turned down. The İzmir 5th Court of Peace claimed that the “police acted in line with the laws,” whereas protesters “did not disperse” as was requested of them.

The Constitutional Court sent the nine protesters' case files back to the İzmir 5th Court of Peace for a retrial to take place. The top court, on the other hand, turned down the applicants' demand for a compensation.