Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled unanimously that a reporting ban slapped on the work of a parliamentary commission set up to investigate corruption charges leveled against four former ministers in a quashed 2013 probe violated free expression and press freedom.
The court was responding to a complaint filed by opposition broadcaster Halk TV, which aired coverage of the corruption scandal implicating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was then the prime minister, and his inner circle. In its ruling, the court suggested that the lower court had exceeded its jurisdiction when imposing the ban implemented supposedly to protect the reputations of the individuals being probed. The news blackout followed a petition filed in 2014 by the parliamentary commission itself. The government went into high gear to muzzle all reporting on the graft probe and fired and jailed the officers conducting it.