#AceWorldNews – ISTANBUL – April 03 – (HDN) – The Constitutional Court has ordered authorities to unblock Twitter, saying the decision violated the rights of users who had appealed the decision.
Regarding individual complaints, the court has unanimously ruled the ban is a violation of free speech guaranteed by Article 26 of the Constitution. “Everyone has the right to express and disseminate his thoughts and opinion by speech, in writing or in pictures or through other media, individually or collectively,” the article states.
The decision was immediately delivered to the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) and Turkey’s Transport, Maritime and Communication Ministry with the demand that they follow the order. The court also ruled that legal fees be paid to the applicants.
With the ruling, authorities must immediately unblock Twitter in Turkey, according to Metin Feyzioğlu, the president of Turkey’s Bar Associations (TBB), who spoke to daily Hürriyet. “If they don’t abide by the ruling, we will file a criminal complaint against the TİB by attaching the ruling of the Constitutional Court” Feyzioğlu added.
The ruling will also be used as a precedent for similar cases in the future, experts have said. If the court ruling is respected, authorities will not be able to impose blanket bans of this kind.
The individual complaints were separately filed by Ass. Prof. Dr. Kerem Altıparmak, Prof. Dr. Yaman Akdeniz and Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The Constitution of The Republic Of Turkey
VIII. Freedom of Expression and Dissemination of Thought
Everyone has the right to express and disseminate his thoughts and opinion by speech, in writing or in pictures or through other media, individually or collectively.
This right includes the freedom to receive and impart information and ideas without interference from official authorities.
This provision shall not preclude subjecting transmission by radio, television, cinema, and similar means to a system of licencing. The exercise of these freedoms may be restricted for the purposes of preventing crime, punishing offenders, withholding information duly classified as a State secret, protecting the reputation and rights and the private and family life of others, or protecting professional secrets as prescribed by law, or ensuring the proper functioning of the judiciary.
No language prohibited by law shall be used in the expression and dissemination of thought. Any written or printed documents, phonograph records, magnetic or video tapes, and other means of expression used in contravention of this provision shall be seized by a duly issued decision of a judge or, in cases where delay is deemed prejudicial, by the competent authority designated by law. The authority issuing the seizure order shall notify the competent judge of its decision within twenty-four hours. The judge shall decide on the matter within three days.
Provisions regulating the use of means of disseminating information and ideas shall hot be interpreted as a restriction of freedom of expression and dissemination unless they prevent the dissemination of information and thought.