Top Turkish court rules violation of rights for exiled journalist Dündar's wife in passport seizure case

Turkish Constitutional Court has found that the state violated the rights of Dilek Dündar, the wife of exiled journalist Can Dündar, by canceling her passport in 2016, as she was on her way to visit her husband in Germany.

Duvar English

Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that the authorities' move in 2016 to cancel the passport of exiled journalist Can Dündar's wife Dilek Dündar constituted a violation of her rights.

The top court ordered the state to pay Dilek Dündar 22,000 liras in non-pecuniary damages, according to reporting by Deutsche Welle Turkish.

In its decision, the court said that the cancellation of Dündar's passport was contrary to the “democratic social order.”

On Sept. 3, 2016, Dündar went to Istanbul's Atatürk Airport to fly to Germany to see her husband. The customs authorities here seized her passport and filed a report accusing her of “being the spouse of a FETÖ/PDY terror organization suspect,” in reference to the Gülen network.

Dündar filed a lawsuit against the cancellation of her passport, saying that her right to go abroad can be only limited by a judicial investigation against her. In her petition, she said that she was neither facing an international travel ban nor a judicial investigation.

However, the Istanbul 5th Administrative Court rejected her application in 2017, as a result of which Dündar took her case to the Constitutional Court.

In a ruling that it handed down four years after the application, the top court said that Dündar's right to respect for life and family had been violated.

The top court also ordered that the case file be sent back to the Istanbul 5th Administrative Court for a retrial to take place.