On the issue of Yeni Akit Newspaper dated 19 December 2012, a news entitled “The Necklace for Ms. Selvi” was published which was followed by the news “Mr. Kemal Bowed to the Necklace” on the next day. Kemal and Selvi Kılıçdaroğlu, who are the addressees of allegations of corruption in the news, filed for non-pecuniary damages, claiming that their personal rights were attacked. In its decision dated 11.07.2013, the Ankara 12th Civil Court of First Instance partially accepted the case and awarded compensation.
The decision was later reversed due to the high amount of compensation awarded by the 4th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court and the start date of the interest was incorrect. Ankara 12th Civil Court of First Instance ruled for 5000 TL compensation in accordance with the reasons for the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn.
Yeni Akit Newspaper lodged an individual application with The Constitutional Court (TCC) on 30.06.2016, claiming that the first instance court decision violated the freedom of press and expression. TCC on its 26.12.2019 dated decision, examines whether the allegations of “gift necklaces” that have been put forward by Yeni Akit had been stated beforehand and whether the journalist making the news had carried out sufficient research on the allegations.
In the light of this review, the court acknowledged that these allegations were made explicitly for the first time, even if it was previously implied (prg 45-49). It also stated that asking the views of respondents pertaining the allegations cannot be interpreted that sufficient research had been carried out; evaluated that the language used in these news, which includes a criminal charge and has no factual basis, may create a perception of reality before the public (prg. 50-59). In the light of these opinions, TCC concluded that Yeni Akit Newspaper does not comply with press responsibility, that the first instance court decision ruling the personal rights of the applicants have been infringed is lawful and therefore the interference (the relevant court decision) does not constitute a violation of rights. Zühtü Arslan, Engin Yıldırım and Yusuf Şevki Hakyemez did not participate in the decision.