Demirel and Ateş v. Turkey (No. 3) (no. 11976/03)

Demirel and Ateş v. Turkey (No. 3) (no. 11976/03)

The applicants are two Turkish nationals who live in Germany: Hıdır Ateş who was born in 1951 and lives in Berlin; and, Hünkar Demirel who was born in 1979 and lives in Neu Isenburg. They are the owner and editor of a weekly newspaper, Yedinci Gündem.

Relying on Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), the applicants complained about their conviction in June 2002 for publishing statements by Öcalan and the ensuing closure of their newspaper for seven days. Further relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial), they also complained that they were not notified of the principal public prosecutor’s written opinion on their case on appeal.

The Court held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 10 concerning the infringement of the applicants’ right to freedom of expression, and a further violation of Article 6 § 1 on account of the non-communication of the written opinion of the principal public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation. It further held unanimously that it was not necessary to examine separately the applicants’ complaint under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. The Court awarded the applicants, jointly, EUR 4,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,000 for costs and expenses. (The judgment is available only in English.)

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