The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Turkey violated the rights of an employee who was dismissed from his post based on a decree issued during the country's emergency rule.
The court said that Turkey violated Hamit Pişkin's right to a fair trial and the right to respect for private and family life when the Ankara Development Agency sacked him with an administrative decision based on a decree that required employers to terminate their employees' contracts if they considered that the latter had had links with an illegal structure.
Pişkin, who was an expert at the agency, was dismissed from his post in 2016 over his alleged links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, which is widely believed to have orchestrated the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
The coup attempt was followed by a state of emergency that lasted for two years and that saw thousands of people getting sacked from their posts with decrees.
While the government claimed that the dismissals were necessary to fight Gülenists, critics stressed that the decrees became a tool to crush critics.
Pişkin complained that neither the procedure leading to his dismissal nor the subsequent judicial proceedings had complied with the guarantees of a fair trial. He also complained that he had been branded a “terrorist” and “traitor."
According to the ECHR, even in cases where national security considerations had to be taken into account, the principles of lawfulness and the rule of law applicable in a democratic society required any measure affecting an individual’s fundamental rights to be subject to some form of adversarial proceedings before a competent independent body, assessing the reasons for the impugned interference and the relevant evidence.
The court ruled that Ankara violated articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It also sentenced Turkey to pay 4,000 euros to Pişkin.