Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ordered the state to pay compensation for a decision by local courts to block the access to news articles of media outlets Gazete Duvar, Diken, Sol.org, Birgün, Artı Gerçek as well as a column penned by journalist Çiğdem Toker that was published in the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet.
The Constitutional Court referred to the recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on Internet freedom as well as the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights on Internet and freedom of expression.
The top court ruled that the decisions to block the access to those media outlets had violated Articles 26 and 28 of the Constitution, which guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
The Constitutional Court ordered the state to pay the applicants separately 8,100 TL of non-pecuniary damages and legal expenses. It also ruled that "structural problems" had caused those violations and that its decision to pay compensation to those media outlets should be examined in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.