The Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled that certain newspapers that published photos of a nude young woman in the sea when reporting her death will pay compensation to the young woman's family as the use of such photos has no relationship to freedom of the press and constitutes a violation of privacy.
Duygu Öztemir, a student in her final year of studies at the department of biology of Ege University, died when she fell off the balcony of her fifth-story apartment in Göztepe, İzmir, in 2009. Öztemir had previously made headlines when İzmir police arrested her in 2007 for public nudity as she had gone swimming in the sea without wearing swimwear while celebrating her birthday. A nude photo taken at that time and run by several papers under that headline was reused by some of those newspapers when reporting her death.
The Öztemir family filed a criminal complaint against the newspapers for using a photo of Öztemir's nude body when announcing her death, seeking TL 7,500 in emotional damages. The family accused the newspapers of defamation and an attack on Duygu Öztemir's character. The İstanbul 3rd Peace Court dismissed the case, ruling the use of the nude pictures did not constitute the crimes suggested.
However, judges of the 3rd Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals voted unanimously on Monday to overrule the lower court's decision, finding the newspapers' use of the photo a violation of the deceased person's privacy. It also said the use of the photo fell outside the normal boundaries of press freedoms and duties.