Top Turkish court finds violation of rights in passport seizure of peace academic

Turkish Constitutional Court has found violation of rights in the passport seizure of academician Onur Can Taştan, who was dismissed from the university in 2016 for signing a petition named “We will not be a party to this crime!”

Duvar English 

Turkey's Constitutional Court (AYM) has given its decision regarding the passport seizure of Onur Can Taştan, a member of the Academics for Peace -- a group who have been dismissed from their university jobs through statutory decrees after signing a 2016 petition named “We will not be a party to this crime!”

Taştan was expelled from the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University in September 2016, according to reporting by BirGün. 

Considering the seizure of Taştan's passport as a violation of the right to respect for private life, the top court ordered a compensation of 13,500 Turkish Liras. 

Taştan initially filed an application with the administrative court for the violation of the right to respect for his private life in 2016. He indicated that he had to attend congresses and lectures abroad and that his freedom of movement and constitutional rights were restricted. The locals courts rejected his application, as a result of which the dismissed academic took his case to the Constitutional Court. Finally, the Constitutional Court has decided that it is a violation. 

The top court said in its decision that there is no criminal investigation against Taştan. 

Taştan told daily Birgün that the top court's ruling is a "late decision." He said that the decision has been made after many years and he could not travel abroad during this time.

“I got an offer from Göttingen University in Germany but I couldn’t sign the contract because I didn’t have my passport and couldn’t get the visa,” he said. Taştan was able to get his passport back only in 2020.