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  • Author: Bertil Emrah Oder
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The recently announced Judicial Reform Strategy was subject to public debate with a series of promises ranging from issuing green passports to lawyers as a privileged of visa exemptions to the introduction of an appeal process in criminal cases concerning the freedom of expression.1 The fundamental shortcoming of this new strategy and other reform efforts is the lack of a specific agenda on the representation of women professionals in the judiciary, especially in the leading positions including the apex courts. Policies on women’s representation in the judiciary remained “invisible” in recent reform efforts on judicial policies.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Law, Women, Inequality, Courts, Criminal Justice, Representation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Hakkı Onur Arıner
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Turkey’s Law on Foreigners and International Protection (LFIP) was adopted on 4 April 2013 by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. In the five years that has passed since the coming into force of the LFIP in its entirety, it appears that the LFIP has been made to adapt to the conditions of Turkey, rather than the other way around, due to the sheer unexpected size of the phenomenon of immigration into Turkey, and the challenges encountered in establishing the institutional capacity and the inter- institutional cooperation necessary to deal with the inflows as required by the Law.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Migration, Refugee Issues, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bürge Elvan Erginli, Gamze Nur Çelik, Koray Özdil, Seda Akço Bilen
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The report “Local Recommendations for Access to Justice in Turkey” was developed under the project Enhancing Civic Participation and Confidence Building in the Judicial Reform Process and run in partnership with the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and Turkije Instituut, based in Leiden, Netherlands. The main objectives of the project are to identify, at a local level, the problems that prevent citizens in Turkey from accessing justice in judicial processes, to support local actors serving in the field of justice and law in turning identified problems into significant policy recommendations, and thus, to develop local recommendations for judicial reform.
  • Topic: Environment, Law, Courts, Justice
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Netherlands
  • Author: Hande Özhabeş
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: A number of amendments for criminal law have been instituted in Turkey in recent years within the framework of the judicial reform process that especially were geared towards the realization of the fair trial principle. Between 2011 and 2013, four groups of legal amendments named “Judicial Reform Packages” were passed. These brought about important improvements regarding fair trial, freedom of speech, personal liberty and security. The TESEV Democratization Program published a report evaluating the effect of these four judicial reform packages on rights and freedoms in September 2013. This brief report provides an evaluation of the amendment package instituted in March 2014 that included important changes vis-a-vis the specially empowered judicial system.
  • Topic: Democratization, Law, Reform, Criminal Justice, Justice
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: R. Bülent Tarhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This comprehensive work has been prepared by Prime Minister’s Chief Inspector Bülent Tarhan and contains all related UN and OECD documents, government of Republic of Turkey’s fight against corruption action plans, decision and circulars of the prime ministry, national programme of Turkey related with undertaking of the EU Legal Acquis related provisions of the Turkish law, EU Progress reports, GRECO Turkey Reports, all anti-corruption laws and GNAT Corruption Investigation Commission Report as well as Mr.Tarhan’s article ‘Institutional Foundation of Anti-corruption’. Published by TEPAV (The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey) this work is an extensive source of information to anyone who has been interested in this subject matter. In order to navigate easily in this 1040 page long document, you can click on the titles and sub-titles in the summary of contents. This work has only been published in Turkish.
  • Topic: Corruption, Law, European Union, Courts, Accountability, Transparency, Justice
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Biriz Berksoy, Mehmet Uçum, Zeynep Başer, Zeynep Gönen
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: “The Spirit of the Police Laws in Turkey: Legislative Discourses, Instruments and Mentality” is a discussion of the quality of policing in Turkey as is laid out by laws and the authority and powers given to the police. It aims to uncover the dynamics that extend or restrict police authorities through regulations. Looking at police laws in this manner unearths clues – albeit at the level of discourse – about the mentality of policing, the elements of the conceptualizations of “crime,” “criminal,” “order” and “security” within the police force, and the grounds that legitimize police authority. We hope that the report will lead to a more fruitful discussion of the limits of police powers and duties together with the problems of insufficient oversight and impunity.
  • Topic: Security, Law, Democracy, Criminal Justice, Police, Justice
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Hande Özhabeş, Naim Karakaya
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: “Judicial Reform Packages: Evaluating Their Effect on Rights and Freedoms” authored by Naim Karakaya and Hande Özhabeş, is published as part of TESEV’s ongoing work on judicial reform. The report focuses on the four judicial reform packages released by AK Party government between 2011 and 2013. It analyses the Judicial Packages and evaluates them from the perspective of rights and freedoms, and focuses especially on freedom of expression, right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial as well as the execution system.
  • Topic: Security, Law, Reform, Freedom of Expression, Justice, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Gülçin Avşar
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The Ergenekon Trial has been one of the most important political developments in recent Turkish history. The trial helped uncover the ways in which some groups in the military establishment and their political and economic collaborators in civilian circles were intervening illegally in democratic politics. When the trial revealed that the suspects had ties to the Susurluk scandal and to organizations that had committed extrajudicial killings of Kurdish civilians in the 1990s —the Yüksekova Gang, the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counter Terrorism organization, and the Special Forces Command—there were heightened expectations among the public that grave violations of human rights committed during the 1990s, particularly against the country’s Kurdish citizens, would be brought to light. Yet the prosecutors and panel of judges in charge of conducting the investigation phase of the trial ignored these expectations as they prepared the criminal complaint, instead focusing solely on the charge of “attempting to overthrow the government.” A report published by the TESEV Democratization Program in November 2013, presented the public with an analysis of information found in the Ergenekon case files regarding the grave violations of human rights during the 1990s. The present work, an abridged version of this report, uses the most noteworthy information on murders by unknown assailants from the case files. We seek to present a general analysis of the Ergenekon Trial’s importance in Turkey’s confrontation with its past, to highlight its unprecedented nature in Turkish criminal-justice history, and finally to present our own recommendations.
  • Topic: Crime, Law, Courts, Justice, Judiciary, Disappearance, Extrajudicial Killings
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Levent Köker
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: “The Basic Principles and the Choice of Government System in the New Constitution,” authored by Levent Köker, is the fourth monitoring report published by TESEV under the umbrella of its constitution monitoring project, Turkey Constitution Watch (turkeyconstitutionwatch.org). The report offers a comparative analysis of the presidential and parliamentary system proposals that are discussed in the Constitutional Reconciliation Commission. It also deals with the basic principles (such as rights and freedoms, independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and local autonomy) that should form the basis of system discussions in Turkey.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Law, Constitution, Civil Rights, Justice, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Onur Bayramoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: One of the most critical areas of reform in Turkey’s recent history involves the judiciary, which has served to corroborate the tutelary regime. With a discourse emphasizing that the judiciary itself must also be bound by the “rule of law”, the Justice and Development Party (JDP) took a number of steps toward reforming the administration of supreme judiciary bodies, as well as the judiciary in general. The constitutional amendments brought to the ballot in the referendum of 12 September 2012 essentially represented an initiative to transform the judiciary. The amendments package was intended to equip the Constitutional Court and the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) with a more pluralist structure. This report titled “the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors in Turkey: Roundtable Discussion on its New Structure and Operations” is based on discussions of the roundtable meeting attended by representatives from judges and prosecutors professional associations such as YARSAV (The Association of Judges and Prosecutors) and Demokrat Yargı (Democratic Judiciary Association), which adopted divergent positions over the course of the referendum; one representative from HSYK, the direct addressee in the debate; and experts with diverse opinions. With the roundtable, we intended to generate direct discussion by experts and practitioners of the field in a small group affording sufficient time for speakers. As a result, we treated the current situation and practice through an insider’s perspective and in detail. This also provided a shared platform where parties coming from varying political positions exchanged opinions regarding both the HSYK and several contested aspects of the judiciary reform. The roundtable ensured that critiques were communicated to and discussed with the directly relevant parties through face-to-face conversations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Law, Rule of Law, Justice, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East