Actor Müjdat Gezen used the word “pezevenk” (pimp) during a discussion on the claims accusing him of drinking alcohol on TV and being disturbed by the ezan while he was at a TV program broadcasted by Halk TV, on October 17, 2015. He added that he did not use the word as an insult since the word means “guide” in Azerbaijani.
Following this event, Yeni Akit Newspaper published an article entitled “‘Pimp’ M., and ‘Swearer’ D”. The article stated that the public was angry due to the usage of the word.
Gezen filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the article violated his personal rights, demanding 3-kurus (penni) compensation and the lawsuit decision be published in 5 newspapers including Yeni Akit. On 28.06.2016, Bakırköy 2nd Civil Court of First Instance decided on the favor of Gezen and ordered compensation. Upon appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the court’s decision on 11.02.2016.
Yeni Akit Newspaper applied to the Constitutional Court on 19.09.2016.
TCC ruled that the court’s decision has violated Yeni Akit’s freedom of expression. TCC pointed out that the words used in the article were also expressed during the TV program and that the article was a criticism in this regard, and stated that the court of first instance made an assessment by detaching the phrase from the context of the published article. The court refused the compensation claim, stating that its decision on retrial would be an effective measure to redress the violation.