Turkey's Constitutional Court reiterates journalist Alpay’s rights violated

The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday former Zaman columnist Şahin Alpay’s house arrest violated his right to liberty and security.

According to the detailed ruling, "the precondition of a strong sign of criminal activity, which was a prerequisite for imposing the judicial control measure in the form of not letting the person leave his or her residence, was not met" in Alpay's case.

The Constitutional Court said his right to personal liberty and security guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution is violated adding his release to house arrest did not remove deprivation of his liberty and violations and its consequences were not eliminated by the courts.

A former columnist of the Zaman newspaper Şahin Alpay was standing trial for "coup-plotting" and "membership in a terrorist organization" in the Zaman newspaper case. He was taken into custody in the first wave of detentions on July 27, 2016 after the coup attempt on July 15, followed by his arrest.

The Constitutional Court delivered a ruling for Alpay and another prominent journalist Mehmet Altan that they should be released. However, the first instance courts did not recognize this ruling.

Alpay's lawyers appealed to the court for the second time. The second ruling of right violation was given for Alpay on March 16, 2018. However, the İstanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court ruled that he should be released on the condition of house arrest.