November 14, 2023 – In a landmark decision, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Turkey violated the right to ‘respect for private and family life’ by monitoring private conversations between dismissed judges, prosecutors, and their lawyers in prison. The court unanimously awarded each of the applicants—Mehmet Ali Canavcı, Ramazan Çaylı, Harun Altun—moral damages amounting to 9,750 Euros.
Mehmet Ali Canavcı, a dismissed prosecutor, commented on the ruling, highlighting the simplicity of his initial application and emphasizing the significance of the legal struggle as a matter of honor. The ECHR’s decision focuses on events following the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey, citing the surveillance of conversations under an emergency decree as a breach of Articles 8 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The ECHR rejected Turkey’s defense, which claimed that domestic legal remedies had not been exhausted. The court found that the applicants had adequately pursued all available legal channels within Turkey. The case underscored the distinction between the right to a fair trial and the right to confidential communication with legal counsel, with the ECHR stressing the importance of the latter in its ruling.
This decision sheds light on the broad implications of state interference in private communications, especially under emergency conditions. It also sets a precedent for future cases concerning privacy rights and governmental overreach within the Council of Europe’s jurisdiction. Human rights advocates and legal experts have hailed the decision as a significant step in the protection of individual rights against state intrusion.”