An Ankara appeals court has ruled that Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu's insulting remarks targeting Prof. Baskın Oran, one of Turkey's most prominent experts on domestic and foreign policy, fall within the framework of freedom of expression.
The Ankara Regional Court of Justice therefore upheld a lower court's decision rejecting Oran's demand for immaterial compensation.
The case concerns Soylu's targeting of Oran over the latter's 2017 article titled “Some tragicomic experiments on Kurds.” Following the release of the article, Soylu wrote on Twitter: “I will file a criminal complaint against servant Baskın Oran, who has marketed himself as a scientist but has despicably fabricated every word in the article.”
The prosecutors later launched an investigation into Oran over his article, but eventually dropped the charges against him saying the article did not include elements that would be considered as a crime.
Oran later filed a lawsuit against Soylu saying his remarks of “despicable” and “servant” violated his personal rights. At the hearing at Ankara 14th Civil Court of First Instance, Oran asked the judges how they would have ruled if he was the one who referred to Soylu as a “despicable” person and a “servant.” “Just give a ruling based on this, this would be enough for me,” Oran said.
The Ankara 14th Civil Court of First Instance however turned down Oran's demand for a compensation saying that Soylu “had informed the public about actions that he considered as a 'crime'” and the minister's remarks fell within the boundaries of criticism without targeting the renowned political expert's personal rights.
Oran took the Ankara 14th Civil Court of First Instance's ruling to the Ankara Regional Court of Justice, saying that Soylu could have expressed his opinion without “insulting” him. However, Oran's application was rejected by the appeals court by unanimous vote.
Upon this decision, Oran filed another appeal at the Court of Cassation, which is the last instance for reviewing verdicts given by courts of criminal and civil justice.Interior Minister Soylu targets a journalist once again for revealing nepotism within AKPTurkey's Constitutional Court member criticizes Minister Soylu for targeting court president