1 October 1998


Appeals Court confirms prison sentence

Incident details

Tayyip Erdogan



(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - ARTICLE 19 is extremely concerned at the confirmation by
the Court of Appeals on 23 September 1998 of the sentence of 10 months'
imprisonment imposed on the mayor of Istanbul, Tayyip Erdogan. In a letter
of 23 April this year, ARTICLE 19 had considered the sentence, imposed for
repeating a passage from the renowned Turkish thinker Ziya Gokalp, to be a
clear violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights
(ECHR) to which Turkey is a party. The conviction, which will also
disqualify Erdogan from holding the mayorship, appears to be part of a
campaign against former leading members of the Welfare Party, which was
outlawed by the Constitutional Court in a judgement which ARTICLE 19 also
believes directly contravened the ECHR. With general elections scheduled for
April 1999, ARTICLE 19 is concerned that the confirmation of such an unjust
sentence may be designed to intimidate large sections of the electorate who
previously supported the Welfare Party.

Furthermore, ARTICLE 19 notes that the original sentence was imposed by the
Diyarbakir State Security Court. The European Court of Human Rights - which
under the terms of the ECHR has precedence over Turkey's domestic law -
recently ruled in the case of Incal v Turkey (Case No 41/1997/825/1031,
Strasbourg, Judgement of June 1998) that the State Security Courts
constitute a violation of Article 6(1) of the ECHR dealing with the right to
a fair trial.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the Prime Minister:

  • asking that the original court proceedings against Tayyip Erdogan be
    declared invalid, the sentence be immediately revoked and all charges
    relating to this case be dropped

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz
    06573 Ankara, Turkey
    Fax: +90 312 417 0476 or +90 312 230 8896

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
    6-8 Amwell Street
    EC1R 1UQ
    United Kingdom
    info (@) article19.org
    Fax:+44 20 7278 7660
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