Situation in Turkey
Letter from MEDEL to the Consultative Council of European Judges on suppression of the Independence of the Judiciary in Turkey
- Published: 23 July 2016
Dear President Nils Engstad, We are writing you to call an extraordinary meeting as soon as possible to discuss the suppression of the independence of the judiciary in Turkey, after thousands of judges and prosecutors have been deposed from the bench in the middle of the night and detained without a due process and in clear violation of the basic rule of law principles.
Turkey is a member of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and committed itself to respect the recommendation Rec(2010)12 on judges, related to their independence. The representative of Turkey to CCJE must provide answers to the Council about the recent developments in country, where a quarter of the magistrates have been purged as a result of a cleansing operation conducted by the Turkish government.
Considering this dangerous situation in Turkey, the Council, in partnership with other institutions, should take into consideration organizing an observatory mission to Turkey.
Multiple reports and independent observers informed over time about the decline of democracy in Turkey. For example, the report prepared by the Bureaus of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) on “Challenges for judicial independence and impartiality in the member states of the Council of Europe” (CCJE/CCPE(2016)1), expressed concerns regarding the worrying situation in Turkey in relation to human rights, the rule of law, and the independence of its judiciary.
MEDEL has also frequently, over the past years, raised numerous concerns in its reports regarding the decline of democracy and increased threats to the independence of judiciary in Turkey.
All these warnings were ignored by the European institutions, allowing the situation to deteriorate to the current point, where thousands of judges and prosecutors are arbitrarily deposed from the bench and arrested.
Due to this unprecedented situation, we call you to request an urgent extraordinary meeting to discuss the situation in Turkey and find remedies to help reinstate the rule of law and democracy in the country, to restore the independence of the judiciary and to assure the safety of the judges and prosecutors arbitrarily deposed and arrested.
MEDEL, as an observatory member of CCJE, will support the Council in this action with our expertise and all our knowledge regarding the situation in Turkey.
President of MEDEL