Der Wortlaut der beiden Artikel ist (in englischer Übersetzung) im EGMR-Urteil nachzulesen; unter anderem warf Tuşalp dem Premier vor, über alles - vom Volkseinkommen angefangen über die Inflation bis zu Budget - Lügen zu erzählen. Zitat aus dem ersten Artikel ("Stabilität"):
"The Prime Minister and his men are continuing to be stable in creating their absurdities... The Prime Minister and his men are continuing to be stable in swearing...[...] Every word that comes out of his mouth shocks, even if denied and corrected. The act of looking you in the eye and lying is considered as governing the country."Im zweiten Artikel ("Baldige Besserung!") hieß es unter anderem:
"From my column I say to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, get well soon. I leave him in the hands of the Turkish doctors. But as a dabbler in amateur psychology I would like to draw attention to a small detail. Having regard to the fact that he defames the birds in the air and the wolves in the mountains, he responds to criticisms with swearing, for him University professors are immoral, the opposition party meagre, journalists shameless, and he also makes inappropriate remarks about the mothers of the voters, I consider it useful for both his and the public’s mental health to investigate whether he had a high-fevered illness when he was young ...Starke Worte - aber ein Premier muss das aushalten, befand der EGMR. Die Verurteilung Tuşalps war ein Eingriff in sein Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung, der gesetzlich vorgesehen war und einem legitimen Ziel - Schutz des guten Rufs oder der Rechte anderer - diente, aber in einer demokratischen Gesellschaft nicht notwendig war. Der EGMR betont, dass es sich um einen Artikel in einer Tageszeitung handelte, der sich mit angeblicher Korruption hochrangiger Politiker und der angeblich aggressiven Reaktion des Premiers auf verschiedene Vorkommnisse befasst habe. Dies seien zweifellos sehr wichtige Angelegenheiten, an deren Kenntnis die Öffentlichkeit ein legitimes Interesse habe. Der Kläger sei ein sehr hochrangiger Politiker; die Grenzen zulässiger Kritik seien daher weiter als im Fall von Privaten; er sei verpflichtet, ein größeres Maß an Toleranz zu zeigen. Wörtlich führt der EGMR aus (Hervorhebungen hinzugefügt):
As he has become such a nervous wreck in that he dismissed a question like the erection of the 'Pontic Genocide Memorial' in Thessaloniki and tore the visitors’ book in the house of Mustafa Kemal, I suspect that he is suffering from a psychopathic aggressive illness. I wish him a quick recovery."
47. The Court has examined the articles in question and the reasons given in the domestic courts’ decisions to justify the interference with the applicant’s right to freedom of expression. The Court has taken into consideration the applicant’s professional interest as a journalist/columnist to convey to the public his views on current events and in voicing his criticism, against Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s interests, a politician, in having his reputation protected and being protected against personal insult. In this connection, the Court considers that, even assuming as did the first-instance courts in the present case that the language and expressions used in the two articles in question, particularly those highlighted in the first-instance court’s decisions, were provocative and inelegant and certain expressions could legitimately be classed as offensive, they were, however, mostly value judgments based on particular facts, events or incidents which were already known to the general public, as some of the quotations compiled by the applicant for the purposes of the domestic proceedings demonstrate. They therefore had sufficient factual basis. In so far as it concerns statements of fact contained in the impugned articles, the Court finds that the domestic courts did not attempt to distinguish them from value judgments nor do they appear to have examined whether the 'duties and responsibilities' within the meaning of Article 10 § 2 of the Convention were observed on the part of the applicant or the publishing company. In particular, for the Court, the domestic courts’ decisions failed to assess whether the articles were published in good faith.Update: siehe auch die Besprechung dieses Urteils durch Dirk Voorhoof und Rónán Ó Fathaigh bei Strasbourg Observers.
48. As to the form of the expressions, the Court observes that the author chose to convey his strong criticisms, coloured by his own political opinions and perceptions, by using a satirical style. In this connection, the Court reiterates that Article 10 is applicable not only to 'information' or 'ideas' that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb; such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no 'democratic society' [...]. The Court would add that offensive language may fall outside the protection of freedom of expression if it amounts to wanton denigration, for example where the sole intent of the offensive statement is to insult [...]; but the use of vulgar phrases in itself is not decisive in the assessment of an offensive expression as it may well serve merely stylistic purposes. For the Court, style constitutes part of communication as a form of expression and is as such protected together with the content of the expression. However, in the instant case, the domestic courts, in their examination of the case, omitted to set the impugned remarks within the context and the form in which they were expressed.
49. Consequently, the Court is of the opinion that various strong remarks contained in the articles in question and particularly those highlighted by the domestic courts could not be construed as a gratuitous personal attack against the Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In addition, the Court observes that there is nothing in the case file to indicate that the applicant’s articles had any affect on Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political career or his professional and private life.
50. In the light of the above considerations the Court finds that the domestic courts failed to establish convincingly any pressing social need for putting the Prime Minister’s personality rights above the applicant’s rights and the general interest in promoting the freedom of the press where issues of public interest are concerned. The Court therefore considers that in taking their decisions the domestic courts overstepped their margin of appreciation and that the judgments against the applicant were disproportionate to the legitimate aim pursued. The fact that the proceedings were civil rather than criminal in nature – as pointed out by the Government – does not affect the Court’s considerations above. In any event, the Court would point out that the amount of compensation which the applicant was ordered to pay, together with the publishing company, was significant and that such sums could deter others from criticising public officials and limit the free flow of information and ideas [...]. It follows that the interference with the applicant’s exercise of his right to freedom of expression cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society for the protection of the reputation and rights of others.