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Constitutional Court has given its verdict on the case of a police officer, who appealed against a reprimand given to him after commenting on a topic on Facebook entitled "President of Emniyet-Sen (Law Enforcement Officers Union) Subjected to Mobbing."
In the detailed ruling announced today (December 5), the court ruled that by the reprimand given to then police officer H.Ö., freedom of expression, which is secured by the 26th Article of the Constitution, was violated.
'God will bring you to account'
H.Ö. commented on the topic "President of Emniyet-Sen Subjected to Mobbing", which was shared on a Facebook group founded by police officers. In his comment, H.Ö. wrote,
"Hey seniors, you will die, we will die. In the other world, the God will bring you to account, in this world, Emniyet-Sen will do."
A disciplinary proceeding was opened against H.Ö. and he was given a reprimand by the Provincial Police Disciplinary Board of the Ankara Governorship on the ground of "engaging in banned off-duty activities" on March 19, 2014.
His objections rejected
H.Ö. appealed against the reprimand, but his appeal was rejected by the Ankara 2nd Administrative Court on November 7, 2014.
The court ruled that the comment on Facebook was not in compliance with work ethics of policing. After the verdict was upheld by the Ankara District Administrative Court, H.Ö. individually appealed to the Constitutional Court on December 7, 2014.
In his appeal, he alleged that "on a page created by police officers on social media, he made comment which does not include an element of a crime, and by being reprimanded, he claimed his freedom of speech was violated."
The case will be retried
The Constitutional Court, which ruled retrial in its detailed ruling, stated,
"If an intervention in the freedom of speech does not fulfill a necessary social need, it cannot be evaluated as an intervention which is in accordance with the necessities of the democratic social order."
The court also mentioned "the right to criticise":
"It is natural that police department has more strict hierarchical rules than the ones which civil servants are subject to. But this does not mean that hierarchical seniors cannot be criticized." (AS/VK)
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