The Turkish Constitutional Court recently considered a claim
seeking to remove 1998 and 1999 content from an online news archive
regarding the Petitioner's past illegal drug use and trial. The
court balanced constitutional press freedom and freedom of
expression against the Petitioner's right to be forgotten.
Ultimately, it granted the Petitioner's request to remove the
content, ruling in favor of the Petitioner's right to protect
and improve corporal and spiritual existence (Article 17 of the
The Petitioner initially sought to have the newspaper remove the
news content from its online archive by sending a cease and desist
letter. The newspaper ignored the letter, so the Petitioner
initiated a criminal action against the newspaper. The first
instance court accepted all of the Petitioner's claims, holding
that the news in question was outdated. Accordingly, the lower
court held that the news breached the Petitioner's privacy
rights because there is no public interest in continuing to publish
The first instance court's decision was reversed on appeal.
The Petitioner subsequently bought the matter to the Constitutional
Court, claiming breaches of their constitutional rights to protect
and improve corporal and spiritual existence, as well as their
right to respect for privacy and family life.
The Constitutional Court ruled that the content should be
removed, in order to protect the Petitioner's right to protect
and improve corporal and spiritual existence, protected by the
Article 17 of the Turkish Constitution. In reaching the decision,
the Constitutional Court noted:
A fair balance must be found between:
The Petitioner's right to
The Petitioner's right to protect
and improve corporal and spiritual existence.
Freedom of expression.
The right to be forgotten is clearly
outlined in the 19th Supreme Court Assembly of Civil
Chambers' decision dated June 17, 2015 and numbered E.
2014/4-56 and K. 2015/1679. In this case, a party's right to
privacy and reputation was held to have been violated by news
published online, which was easily accessible (more).
The right to be forgotten aims to
balance press freedom, freedom of expression and the spiritual
existence of individuals.
The news in question is fourteen
years old and describes the Petitioner being arrested and tried for
using drugs. Accordingly, the Constitutional Court deemed the news
to be outdated.because there is no need for the information to be
easily accessed on the web archive.
Recent judicial decisions about the right to be forgotten have
begun to act as precedents in later cases, including recent
decisions by Constitutional Court and Supreme Court Assembly of
The Turkish jurisdiction's similar approach to Decision No
C-132/12 of the European Court of Justice, considered as the base
for the right to be forgotten, will result in re-evaluating the
obligations of online search engines and content providers.
In the scope of right to be forgotten, natural and legal persons
who provide or link to content will be considered to be both
"data processor" and "data controller" because
the content is actually stored in the archives/available within
Please see this link for full text of the Constitutional
Court's decision, made on 3 March 2016, with application number
2013/5653 (only available in Turkish).
Information first published in the
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