The Turkish Constitutional Court has held that fines issued by authorities for violating curfew during the COVID-19 pandemic are unlawful. The Court assessed a fine issued to a man who was found driving his car in May 2020, in violation of the provisions of a Presidential Decree. The fine’s legal ground was found in Law no. 1593 of 1930 (Law on Public Hygiene), whose scope also covered the presidential decree which was directly violated.

However, the Constitutional Court held that the provisions of Law no. 1593 do not pertain to violations of curfews and therefore fines cannot be issued under such law. To do otherwise, the Court noted, would lead to an illegitimate expansion of the scope of a criminal provision without a legal basis. Indeed, the scope of such provisions is limited in order to prevent arbitrary punishments.

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