Turkish Constitutional Court rejects by a unanimous vote its former deputy chair Alparslan Altan’s application who has been under arrest since 2016 July.

Who is Alparslan Altan?

He completed his primary and secondary education in the province of Çayıralan in Yozgat in 1985. After graduating from the Faculty of Law at Istanbul University in 1989, he completed his advocacy internship and judicial training until 1993. Respectively; he worked as prosecutor in Alaplı, Hilvan and Zara public prosecutor’s office.

He completed his LLM degree with the thesis of “Responsibilities of the Members of the Board of Directors in the Joint Stock Companies and the Effect of the Quietus in the cases of Liability” in Erciyes University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Commercial Law, and his phd degree with the thesis of “Private Property, Security and Protection” in Gazi University Institute of Social Sciences Private Law Department.

Altan, who served as the Constitutional Court Rapporteur between 9 January 2001 and 25 February 2010, was appointed as Deputy Undersecretary of Maritime Undersecretary on 26.2.2010. He was appointed as a substitute member of the Constitutional Court by  former President Abdullah Gül on 29.03.2010. He became a Constitutional Court Member after the referendum held on September 12, 2010. Altan, chosen as vice President of the Constitutional Court on 26 October 2011. Until 2015, he served his duty as vice president.

He gave seminars on Constitutional Law and Constitutional Judiciary, Objection in Constitutional Law, Human Rights in Decisions of European Court of Human Rights at The Justice Academy of Turkey. There are various articles he has published in the fields of constitutional justice and private law.

He is married and father of two children. His elder son Eren is a disabled child. Eren had a seizure when his father was taken into custody.

He was arrested based on his “social circle”!

Following the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, he was one of the first civilian/judge to be arrested illegally in the history of law and coup. Jd Alparslan Altan was detained by the Ankara 4th Criminal Judgeship of Peace in Ankara on the morning of 16th of July in the presence of the Ankara chief prosecution office, who had no authority to prosecute members of the high judiciary.

Altan, who had to be trialed by the supreme criminal tribunal in accordance with the law and who could not be investigated by any of the prosecutor’s offices, was dismissed without even considering  taking his defence with the decision of president and members of Top Court in defiance of ECHR (european court of human rights) and the ECHR (european convention of human rights.)

As a reason for sack, the criterion shown as members opinion that formed “social circle knowledge” which had no place in the law.

Since the Hitler period, this rationale was firstly considered as a reason for a high/top judge to be sacked in the Turkish judiciary, which is an adapted notion of daily language term ‘gossip’ into the legal literature as ‘social knowledge’. On the other hand, the decision shows that there is no solid evidence about the lack of concrete evidence.

Altan was known to vote for release of prominent journalist Can Dundar who is in exile in Germany 

Altan, is known for his decisions and conter votes on behalf of freedoms in the decisions of Youtube, arrested MPs, prep school, Can Dündar, Erdem Gül. With this stance, he shows he is judge that in favor of freedoms. His counter votes bears enough law experience which can be taught as a lecture in law faculties. Unlike the current members, he was known not to swear allegiance to executive, and as a result, he was dismissed from the profession and arrested.

The “social circle” statement, which the Top Court president and members indicated as the reason for the sack, was used as the reason for the dismissal of judges who had not previously obeyed to Hitler in Nazi Germany.

On the other hand, Altan’s objection to the detention and the demand for release are almost reversed despite the need of her disabled son by adding hundreds of names with copy and paste system.


1. http://www.posta.com.tr/son-dakika-anayasa-mahkemesi-nden-mehmet-altan-ve-sahin-alpay-a-tahliye-karari-haberi-1370875

2. https://tr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alparslan_Altan