February 22, 2012 - 11:15 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should be more tolerant toward criticism, the European Court of Human Rights said.
The scolding stems from the case of Turkish journalist Erbil Tuşalp, who was ordered by a Turkish court to pay 10,000 Turkish Liras in compensation to the Prime Minister after writing two opinion pieces that were highly critical of his policies.
The Turkish court ruled that Tuşalp’s criticism "violated personal rights" and was "outside the limits of acceptable criticism.”
But the European Court of Human Rights disagreed with the initial ruling and instead sentenced Turkey to pay 5,000 euros to Tuşalp for violating his right to freedom of speech.
The European court further underlined the significance of the role of the media in a democratic society, reminding Erdoğan that the limits to criticism against political figures had to be looser than those for ordinary people.
Erdoğan should have been more tolerant toward Tuşalp's writing, the court said.
The court defined the constraints on Tuşalp's freedom of speech as an "unnecessary application in a democratic country" since Erdoğan's political life had remained unaffected by the criticism, Hurriyet Daily News reported.