Turkish court rules rights violation over arrest of protestor near Erdoğan home

Turkey's top court has ruled that the rights of a woman arrested for protesting the imprisonment of a relative near the home of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were violated, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

The government violated the rights liberty and security of Sultan Kaya, who was arrested on charges of  "membership in a terrorist organization’’ after she carried a banner in support of her nephew jailed on terror charges, the court said.

Kaya was arrested mid-2020 when she unfurled a banner near the Istanbul home of Erdoğan, calling for support for nephew, who was on a hunger strike in an Istanbul prison, according to Cumhuriyet. Kaya spent six months in prison on terror charges before being acquitted on all charges in December 2020.

The Turkish Constitutional court ruled that there was no “concrete evidence’’ pointing to the terror charges against Kaya, the newspaper said.

The court ordered Turkey to pay damages to Kaya totalling 67,500 liras ($4,515), according to Cumhuriyet.

Turkey has detained and arrest tens of thousands of people on trumped-up terrorism charges after the failed coup attempt of July 2016. The government has used a state of emergency rule implemented in the aftermath of the failed putsch to clamp down on all forms of opposition in the country.

Charges against the detainees include alleged membership in the Gulen movement, which Ankara a blames for the coup attempt, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the UK, EU and the United States.

Ankara uses terrorism charges to restrict the rights to free expression and association, according to Human Rights Watch.

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