The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) welcomes the today decision by the Constitutional Court of Turkey that a journalist’s suspended prison sentence for insulting public officials via media violated freedom of expression.
Bekir Coşkun , daily Cumhuriyet columnist, was convicted of criminal insult charges and given a suspended, 14-month prison sentence after deputies from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) complained about a 2013 column in which Coşkun questioned how support for the party could be so high given what he termed its many “scandals” and “disgraces”.
On Coşkun’s appeal, the Constitutional Court in a decision was ordering the sentence rescinded and awarding Coşkun 5,000 TLR (approx. 1,700 EUR).
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East Europe. SEEMO’s press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.