Turkey's top court dismisses jailed writer Ahmet Altan's rights violation complaint

Turkey's Constitutional Court has rejected jailed writer Ahmet Altan's individual application and said that it can't be put into process. According to the court, Altan can't claim that his rights were violated.

Duvar English 

Turkey's Constitutional Court has found jailed writer Ahmet Altan's individual application inadmissible, saying that the prominent novelist can't claim that his rights were violated. 

The top court on Dec. 2 ruled that prison sentences or security measures imposed as part of the conviction rulings issued by the judiciary bodies don't violate a person's right to freedom and security. 

Altan was arrested in September 2016 over his alleged links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, the group widely believed to have carried out the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.

He was handed an aggravated prison sentence for "attempting to overthrow the government" on Feb. 16, 2018. 

Following his appeal, the Court of Cassation on July 5, 2019 overruled the aggravated prison term that was handed on coup charges and ruled that Altan be sentenced for "intentionally aiding an armed terrorist organization," referring to the Gülen movement, which is officially called the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

The Istanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court then abided by the Court of Cassation ruling and sentenced Altan to 10 years and six months in prison for "aiding a terrorist organization without being a member of it" on Nov. 4, 2019. The court also ruled for his release on the condition of judicial control. 

His freedom was short-lived. The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office appealed the ruling that set him free, which led to his rearrest on Nov. 13, 2019.

Altan took his case to the Constitutional Court on Nov. 21, 2019 after the appeals against his rearrest were dismissed, saying that he was rearrested despite the inexistence of the necessary conditions for imprisonment. 

In his individual application, the prominent novelist also said that his right to freedom of expression, liberty and security were violated. 

The top court, however, dismissed his application on the grounds that he is kept behind bars based on a "conviction" rather than an "accusation." 

According to the Constitutional Court, Altan's claims that the heavy penal courts are not impartial and independent are "baseless."