Judgment 66763/17 66767/17 15891/18

Applicant name TELEK ET AUTRES
Applicant type natural person
Number of applicants 3
Country Turkey
Application no. 66763/17 66767/17 15891/18 
Date 21/03/2023
Judges Arnfinn Bårdsen, président,
 Jovan Ilievski,
 Egidijus Kūris,
 Saadet Yüksel,
 Lorraine Schembri Orland,
 Frédéric Krenc,
 Davor Derenčinović
Institution Court
Type Judgment
Outcome Art. 8 Violation
Reason Unlawfull
Type of privacy Private life
Keywords Quality of law
Facts of the caseInvoking Article 8 of the Convention, the applicants allege that the withdrawal of their passports pursuant to the decree-laws adopted within the framework of the state of emergency which was declared after the attempted coup d’état of 15 July 2016 amounts to interference in their exercise of their right to respect for their private lives. The first two applicants maintain that this measure prevented them from pursuing their university and professional projects as well as their academic research activities abroad, and the third applicant maintains that the impossibility in which she found herself obtaining a valid passport caused him difficulties in his private and professional life during his stay abroad.
Analysis The Court finds that the matter falls within the scope of Article 8 ECHR ratione materiae and that the right had been interfered with. All three academics who clearly needed to follow and participate in academic activities taking place abroad, and who also planned to pursue studies and carry out research at foreign universities or living in a foreign country. They thus had close professional and private ties with the countries in which they wished to go or reside. Therefore, the fact that they were unable to have a valid passport for a considerable period of time, in application of measures taken within the framework of the state of emergency, undoubtedly had a significant impact on their professional and private life.

The state relies on Article 15 ECHR, however, the Court points out that the applicants have not been accused of any involvement in the attempted coup d’état o, nor of any link with the groups and organizations that instigated and perpetrated this attempted coup d’état, which led to the establishment of a state of emergency. Thus, it does not appear from any administrative or judicial act or decision adopted concerning the applicants that the measure of withdrawal of the passports of the persons concerned was made necessary by the state of emergency. The Court therefore notes that the national authorities have not provided detailed information capable of justifying the adoption of the contested measure against the applicants by decree-laws adopted within the framework of the state of emergency.

The Court further observes that neither Article 22 of Law No. 5682, nor Decree-Laws Nos. 675 and 686 pursuant to which the applicants’ passports were initially canceled, nor any other legal provision invoked by the authorities in the case, specify the terms and duration of application of the measure of withdrawal of passports and the conditions which must be met for it to come to an end. The Court further notes that the national courts rejected the appeals brought by the applicants to challenge the withdrawal of their passports, based mainly on the grounds that this measure had been taken in connection with their dismissal from public service in application of decree-laws adopted within the framework of the state of emergency, and without carrying out an in-depth examination of the measure in question, the repercussions of which on the right to respect for the private life of those concerned were nevertheless significant.
Other Article violation? Yes, P1-2, No 6 and 13 ECHR
Damage awarded that the respondent State must pay to the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following sums, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable on the date of settlement:
12,000 EUR (twelve thousand euros), plus any amount that may be due on this sum as tax, to each of the applicants Alphan Telek and Edgar Şar, for material and moral damage;
9,750 EUR (nine thousand seven hundred and fifty euros), plus any amount that may be due on this sum as tax, to the applicant Zeynep Kıvılcım, for non-pecuniary damage;
1,000 EUR (one thousand euros), plus any amount that may be owed on this sum by the applicant Zeynep Kıvılcım as tax, for costs and expenses;
Documents Judgment