Press Freedom

The Council of State’s decision to suspend the execution of the circular banning audio-visual recording of protests is finalized

The Board of Administrative Suit Chambers of the Council of State dismissed the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security General Directorate’s objection to the Council’s decision to suspend the execution of the circular in a lawsuit filed by the Media and Law Studies Association.

In the decision served on December 15th, 2021, the 10th Chamber of the Council of State decided after reviewing the case filed on behalf of journalist Barış Altıntaş and the statements submitted by the defendant parties, that the circular imposes restrictions on freedoms of information and press. Stating that restrictions upon fundamental freedoms can only be imposed in cases that are predictable by law and by the legislative body, the court ruled for the suspension of execution of the circular, on the grounds that it violates the articles 7th and 13th of the Turkish Constitution.

Objecting to the decision on the suspension of the execution of the circular, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security General Directorate requested that the decision be revoked. After having reviewed the objection, the Board of Administrative Law Chambers ruled unanimously to dismiss it on the grounds that the reasons put forward by the Ministry and the Directorate do not necessitate the revoking of the decision. 

Stating that the finalization of the decision is important for journalists who try to do their jobs for the benefit of the wider public under difficult circumstances in Turkey, MLSA Co-Director Attorney Veysel Ok said: “The finalization of such a decision in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a journalist showed once again the unlawfulness of the Ministry’s initiative.”