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Application no. 26605/19
against Türkiye

The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 28 March 2023 as a Committee composed of:

Egidijus Kūris, President,
Pauliine Koskelo,
Frédéric Krenc, judges,
and Dorothee von Arnim, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to:

the application (no. 26605/19) against the Republic of Türkiye lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on 10 April 2019 by a Turkish national, Mr Ruhi Hallaçoğlu, who was born in 1975 and lives in Adana (“the applicant”);

the decision to give notice of the complaint concerning Article 8 of the Convention to the Turkish Government (“the Government”), represented by their Agent, Mr Hacı Ali Açıkgül, Head of the Department of Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Türkiye, and to declare inadmissible the remainder of the application;

the parties’ observations;

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


1. The application concerns the decision of the penitentiary institution to seize the attachments of a letter sent to the applicant by his lawyer.

2. At the material time the applicant was detained on charges of membership of the organisation described by the Turkish authorities as FETÖ/PDY – (“Fetullahist Terror Organisation/Parallel State Structure”) in Osmaniye 1st T Type Closed Penitentiary Institution.

3. On 24 August 2017 the Disciplinary Board of the penitentiary institution decided to seize the attachments to the letter sent to the applicant by his lawyer. The Disciplinary Board stated in its decision that the relevant documents should be requested from the relevant court through the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP) since they were in his criminal proceeding file. The letter of his lawyer was delivered to the applicant without any attachments.

4. Stating that the seized documents were the minutes of the hearings in his own criminal proceedings, the applicant submitted an objection to the Osmaniye Enforcement Judge on 5 September 2017 and claimed that his right to defence within the meaning of Article 6 § 3 (b) of the Convention had been violated by the decision of the Disciplinary Board.

5. On 7 September 2017 the Osmaniye Enforcement Judge decided to dismiss the applicant’s objection. The applicant’s appeal was rejected by the Osmaniye 1st Assize Court on 20 October 2017.


6. The applicant complained under Article 8 of the Convention of the seizure of the annexes to the letter sent by his lawyer.

7. The Government raised an objection based on non-exhaustion of domestic remedies before the Constitutional Court, arguing that the applicant had not lodged an individual application complaining about the Disciplinary Board decision of 24 August 2017. The Constitutional Court decision he had submitted together with his present application had in fact concerned different, unrelated proceedings.

8. The applicant did not submit any argument to dispute the Government’s submissions.

9. The Court finds no indication in the applicant’s submissions and no document in the case-file establishing that he has filed an individual application with the Constitutional Court against the decision given by the Assize Court on 20 October 2017.

10. In the light of the foregoing, the Court holds that the complaint must be rejected for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention.

11. The applicant also complained that he was not allowed to access the law books he needed in prison through the Union of Turkish Bar Associations. The Court notes that, having regard to the material in its possession, this complaint was not raised before the domestic courts. The Court therefore concludes that this complaint must also be dismissed for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies pursuant to Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Court, unanimously,

Declares the application inadmissible.

Done in English and notified in writing on 23 March 2023.

Dorothee von Arnim Egidijus Kūris
Deputy Registrar President