|KHRP Case Finds Turkey in Violation of Right to Fair Trial|
KHRP welcomes the decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to find Turkey in violation of Article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention (EHRC) with respect to the case of Emine Araç. The Court held that the judicial review of the decision to reject her university application due to her wearing of a headscarf was unfair.
Araç had originally studied at Inönü University. During that time, she wore a headscarf covering her hair and neck without any issues being raised about this. Due to her husband’s new job, they moved to Istanbul and she applied to transfer her studies to the Theology Faculty at the University of Marmara. Her application was accepted, but she was subsequently barred from registering as the photo she provided of herself did not have her head uncovered as required in the university’s regulations. She made an appeal to the Turkish Council of State which was rejected, but she was not allowed to see the Public Prosecutor’s opinion given the Council of State and therefore her lawyers could not comment on it in their submissions.
Recalling two decisions also finding Turkey in violation of the right to a fair trial in legally similar cases, Meral v. Turkey and Göç v. Turkey, KHRP and its partners argued that Turkey had not complied with its obligations to make the judicial review an open and fair process. Yesterday, the Court reaffirmed those decisions by finding a repeated violation in Ms Araç’s case.
Rachel Bernu, Deputy Director of KHRP, said: ‘This decision represents an important victory for human rights in Turkey. Emine Araç’s studies were effectively ended by an arbitrary decision which breached her human rights. KHRP calls on Turkey to comply with immediate effective with Article 6 of the ECHR and ensure that its judicial procedures are fair, open and equitable.”