European court says Rights of Turkish teacher jailed for using a messaging app were violated

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday, the previous ruling was "based decisively" on claims that he used the app

A European court has ruled that a court ruling that handed a Turkish teacher six years in jail for using a messaging application was not fair.

This comes six years after the tutor was jailed.

According to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday, the previous ruling was "based decisively" on claims that he used the app as a follower of Gulen.

The court says his rights were violated because the case against him relied mostly on his use of an encrypted messaging application.

Additionally, the court said that the former teacher allegedly used a Bank Asya account, a lender started by Gulen followers though seized by the government in 2015.

Yuksel Yalcinkaya, a Turkish teacher found himself in a predicament which landed him in six years’ imprisonment after using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app.

According to Turkish courts, this app was designed by a United States-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is associated with terrorism, to be used by members of his movement.

In July 2016, Turkey experienced an attempted coup during which 251 people were killed as pro-coup elements of the military fired at crowds and bombed state buildings.

More than 30 people who were suspected of fueling the coup were killed and thousands of others were arrested, among them Yalcinkaya.

Yalcinkaya, who comes from the Kayseri province in central Anatolia, was convicted in 2017 for associating himself with the terrorist organization after he was found using Bylock.

The teacher was sentenced to six years and three months in prison.

He was also a member of a trade union and educators' group, which according to the Turkish government was affiliated with the cleric.

"There are currently approximately 8,500 applications on the ECHR's docket involving similar complaints," it said adding that Yalcinkaya's ruling violated his right to a fair trial, freedom of assembly and due process.

However, Turkish Minister for Justice Yılmaz Tunç took to his social media account to say that ECHR exceeded its authority by giving such a verdict on the case.

“It is unacceptable for the ECHR to exceed its authority and give a verdict of violation by examining the evidence on a case in which our judicial authorities at all levels deem the evidence sufficient,” read part of his post on X.

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