Turkey’s top court rules passport cancellation for sacked civil servants unconstitutional

The Turkish Constitutional Court has ruled that it is unlawful of the state to cancel passports of civil servants dismissed by statutory decrees (KHK).

Duvar English

Following the mass cancellation of the passports of public employees by statutory decrees (KHK) in the aftermath of the failed 2016 coup attempt, the Turkish Constitutional Court has ruled such moves are illegal. 

The court determined that some of the regulations of Statutory Decree No. 7086, which was enacted on Feb. 6, 2018 in parliament within the scope of the state of emergency, were unconstitutional. 

The top court said that the relevant regulations violated the constitutional right of Turkish citizens to the presumption of innocence. 

“It is forbidden to use statements that may cause individuals to be considered guilty even though they have not been given a definitive conviction within the scope of the rule in question,” the court said. 

“The use of expressions that may cause individuals to be deemed guilty even though a definitive conviction has not been given, constitutes a violation of the presumption of innocence, which is prohibited even under the state of emergency.”

The Constitutional Court also ruled that the cancellation of passports of dismissed public servants during the state of emergency following the 2016 coup attempt was illegal. 

“The rules that stipulate that the passports of those who have been dismissed from public service will be revoked impose a restriction on the freedom of travel of individuals beyond measures required by the situation in the extraordinary period,” the court said.