Businessman awarded £85k damages

Remzi Gur wins case against the Avrupa newspaper

Turkish businessman Remzi Gur has been awarded £85,000 libel damages over allegations published in the Avrupa newspaper.

Mr Gur, resident in the UK, brought the claim against the Turkish language newspaper after it published three articles, one on the front page, alleging that he was guilty of defrauding the Turkish authorities. It was claimed that Mr Gur had diverted funds intended for a UK charity and had misstated the costs of a building project in order to pocket the surplus.

The newspaper, which is published in England, entered no defence and judgment in default was granted in January. A hearing was held on Thursday to determine the level of damages. Relevant in this context was Avrupa’s conduct: it had sought to further publicise the allegations at a large public meeting, had responded to the letter before action by carrying on its front page an article headlined ‘Bring It On’, and had said that it would never apologise to Mr Gur. Taking these and other factors into consideration, the Honourable Victoria Sharp QC awarded £85,000 damages.

Eversheds acted for Mr Gur. Phil Sherrell, solicitor-advocate, represented him at today’s hearing.