Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ) European Association of Judges (EAJ), Judges for Judges, Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL)

The assessment of the status of the justice system in Turkey clearly proves that the independence of the judiciary is abolished.

The Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey refers to its previous declarations and to the attached summary on the developments and their results.

It is urgent to return to the rule of law and to bring back to the Turkish people the fundamental rights of which they had been deprived.

The Platform urges

I.) the Turkish authorities

• to end the pressure which is directly exercised on Turkish judges and prosecutors, who are in charge of the procedures subsequent to the terrible attempt of the coup d´etat, and indirectly by influencing the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors.

• to reestablish the procedural rules, which are necessary to guarantee a fair procedure,

• to make the observation of the court hearings by international observers possible

MEDELLe glas de la démocratie ne cesse de sonner en Turquie et le référendum constitutionnel tendant à donner les pleins pouvoirs à Recep Tayyip Edogan le fera résonner une nouvelle fois.

La fin de l’état de droit démocratique en TURQUIE

Tout se passe dans un contexte de répression arbitraire allant crescendo depuis le coup d’état raté du 15 juillet pour atteindre une ampleur considérable : près de 45 000 personnes ont été arrêtées (dont 3800 magistrats, 300 avocats, 140 journalistes, des élus, notamment 12 députés, des universitaires...), plus de 150 000 ont été limogées dont un quart des magistrats en poste à la mi-juillet. Ces chiffres -pouvant varier selon les sources mais restant toujours dans le même ordre de grandeur- traduisent une volonté de faire régner la peur bien au-delà de la sphère « complotiste ».

MEDELAfter prosecutor SeyfettinYigit who allegedly committed suicide and died in prison, another Turkish Judge passed away after being purged.

We mourn for our colleague Mehmet Tosun (29) who passed away on March 6th 2017.

Like many other judges, he was dismissed and detained under severe conditions after the attempted coup with no evidence and solid reason. Although he spent his last months at hospital due to his heavy health problems, he was deprived of even his assets and personal savings, access to his personal bank accounts which were crucial for his medical treatment which obviously costed enormous amount of money for a dismissed person with no social security.

He was a rapporteur judge at the Council of State of Turkey.

He suffered from an autoimmune illness. According to his lawyer, Hüseyin Aygin, Mehmet Tosun was mistreated in jail and his state of health deteriorated.

MEDELThe Italian lawyer Barbara Spinelli was stopped on the frontier, in Istanbul airport, while she was travelling to Ankara to participate, as a speaker, to the International Conference “The judicial system under the state of emergency in Turkey”, organised by the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights.

Following a night of administrative detention, the lawyer Barbara Spinelli was expelled and banned from Turkey, and returned to Bologna, Italy, being considered dangerous for public order for her activity of international observer on Human Rights.

MEDEL expresses its full solidarity to the lawyer Barbara Spinelli for the unjust treatment suffered related to her professional activity and reiterates its deep concerns for the prolongation of the state of emergency in Turkey, in derogation to the fundamental rights recognised by the European and international community, which hits in particular lawyers, journalists, civil servants and magistrates committed to democracy and Rule of Law.

Venice CommissionTurkey - Opinion on Emergency Decree Laws N°s667-676 adopted following the failed coup of 15 July 2016, adopted by the Venice Commission at its 109th Plenary Session, 9-10 December 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENCJThe ENCJ unites the national institutions in the Member States of the European Union which are independent of the executive and legislature, and which are responsible for the support of the Judiciaries in the independent delivery of justice. It aims to improve cooperation between, and good mutual understanding amongst, the Councils for the Judiciary and the members of the Judiciary of the European Union (or candidate) Member States.

It is a condition of membership, and for the status of observer, that institutions are independent of the executive and legislature and ensure the final responsibility for the support of the judiciary in the independent delivery of justice.

The ENCJ became concerned that the procedures adopted by the High Council for Judges and Prosecutors of Turkey (HSYK) indicated that this condition was no longer satisfied.

The General Assembly of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) gathered in The Hague on 8th December 2016 to discuss and decide on the position of the HSYK in the Association.

The ENCJ has been following developments in the judiciary in Turkey since 2014 and has expressed its concern both in its correspondence with the HSYK and publicly in the Declaration of the Hague (June 2015), the Declaration of Warsaw (June 2016) and more recently after the mass-suspension of judges and prosecutors and again following their dismissal.

 MD -  XXI CongressoLa notte della democrazia in Turchia si è manifestata ulteriormente ieri con l’arresto di un nutrito gruppo di parlamentari di opposizione, di quel partito che aveva impedito all’attuale governo di ottenere la maggioranza assoluta prima della ripetizione delle elezioni, che rappresenta oltre il 10% degli elettori e che esprime agli occhi degli osservatori internazionali la ricerca di una soluzione pacifica alla questione curda e di una visione progressista della società turca.

La valanga che ha travolto lo Stato di diritto in Turchia dopo il tentativo di colpo di Stato del luglio scorso ha determinato l’arresto e la destituzione di migliaia di giudici e pubblici ministeri (circa un terzo dell’intera magistratura), insieme ad avvocati, giornalisti, professori, appartenenti alle forze di polizia, funzionari pubblici, tutti qualificati come terroristi o fiancheggiatori del terrorismo.

Pochi giorni fa è stato arrestato Murat Arslan, presidente di Yarsav, l’associazione professionale di magistrati componente, come MD, di MEDEL, sciolta con decreto governativo ed i cui aderenti sono stati inseriti nella lista di magistrati predisposta a livello centrale per l’arresto e la detenzione preventiva, che si prolunga per molti di loro dal luglio scorso.

E’ davvero difficile apprezzare le basi giuridiche e gli elementi di prova a carico degli arrestati, in una condizione di stato d’emergenza prolungato e prorogato, che impedisce o limita fortemente agli arrestati anche i colloqui con i propri legali e con i propri familiari, in un contesto di sovraffollamento carcerario e di ingiustificata compressione di tutti i diritti di difesa.

Manifestazione Avvocati TurchiQuesta notte in Turchia si è avverato quanto si temeva da tempo, ossia da quando, senza alcuna conseguenza-critica sul piano internazionale, la maggioranza fedele ad Erdogan aveva eliminato l'immunità  parlamentare:: sono stati arrestati o sono ancora ricercati i parlamentari eletti nelle liste dell'HDP, cinquantanove. E' in stato di arresto Demirtas, ed altri 12 parlamentari dell'HDP, una forza politica che ha raggiunto 6 milioni di voti e superato per due volte lo sbarramento del 10% così impedendo la trasformazione in senso presidenziale ed autoritario della Costituzione turca.

Un colpo di stato che riafferma con chiarezza la natura del regime totalitario di Erdogan.

Che questo fosse il destino di quanti si sono spesi democraticamente nelle elezioni in Turchia cercando di affermare la dialettica democratica in un paese di fatto in guerra da decenni era chiaro e prevedibile, ed il pericolo si è accentuato, nel disinteresse generale, dopo il tentato colpo di stato;  nelle scorse settimane e negli scorsi mesi sono stati arrestati tutti gli appartenenti alle “categorie a rischio”: sindaci, avvocati, magistrati, giornalisti, ma anche accademici, persone di cultura.

Si parla ormai con quasi certezza di reintroduzione della pena di morte, e molti oppositori al regime di Erdogan la vita l'hanno persa davvero. Per tutti, ricordiamo Tahir Elci, presidente dell'Ordine degli Avvocati di Diyarbakir, assassinato in piazza.

Come Giuristi crediamo ormai indispensabile per chiunque abbia a cuore le regole della democrazia e del diritto prendere una posizione chiara e forte contro la barbarie che il regime di Erdogan sta ristabilendo in Turchia. E la prima, improrogabile, azione che non può essere evitata è l'immediata sospensione dell'accordo Ue-Turchia, che assicura al governo di Erdogan ingenti stanziamenti formalmente destinati al rafforzamento del controllo sulle frontiere ed all'accoglienza dei profughi. L'Ue sta destinando i profughi delle guerre in Siria al paese forse più  insicuro e più totalitario dell'intera area mediorientale!

The Istanbul Security Directorate in Vatan Street where some of the cases of police torture and ill-treatment documented by Human Rights Watch took place.  © 2016 Human Rights Watch Summary: "Because of the state of emergency, nobody will care if I kill you. I will just say I shot you while you tried to run away" - Police officer to a detainee, overheard by family members of another detainee.


"You won’t make it out of here alive. We now have 30 days" - Police officer referencing the extended period of police detention to a detainee while threatening to rape him with a baton, as told to the detainee’s lawyer.

"We had come a long way. The anti-torture struggle in Turkey was important. But torture is like a contagious disease. Once it starts it will spread. It is painful to see the reversal taking place now." - Lawyer involved in anti-torture cases in Turkey who was detained together with people he believed were being tortured

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On July 15-16, 2016, elements of the military attempted a coup d’état against the elected government of Turkey. Those involved in the coup deployed tanks in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara, bombed the parliament with fighter jets, and opened fire from helicopters on people who took to the street to protest the attempted coup. At least 241 citizens and security personnel died in the fighting.

Shortly after the failed coup the Turkish government declared a state of emergency, a step they are entitled to take in exceptional circumstances. They also have the right – and even the obligation – to protect the public, investigate crimes committed during the attempted coup, including murder and causing bodily harm, and to hold those responsible to account. 

Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ) European Association of Judges (EAJ), Judges for Judges, Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL)The Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey, which is composed of the four European judges associations: Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ), European Association of Judges (EAJ), Judges for Judges, Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés(MEDEL).

CONSIDERING that Turkey had suffered a terrible attack against its democratic institutions on 15.7.2016 which killed almost three hundreds of its people and left much more seriously wounded, an event which has to be strongly condemned

UNDERLINING that those whose involvement in this coup d’état have been proved should be hold accountable

WELCOMING the fact that all political parties and the Turkish people have delivered a strong statement for democracy

REMINDING that a basic pillar of democracy is the rule of law and a commitment to the safeguarding of human rights, enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights (EHCR), to which Turkey is a party,

ENCJThe ENCJ reiterates its unreserved condemnation of the recent attempted coup in Turkey. The loss of life incurred in this attack on a democratically elected government is inexcusable. Those responsible should be made accountable through an open, fair and impartial judicial process conforming with international standards.

The ENCJ has expressed its concern, both before and after the attempted coup, that the approach of the High Council for Judges and Prosecutors to the transfer, suspension, removal and prosecution of judges has not been consistent with the principles of judicial independence. The ENCJ has received persuasive information that these procedures have taken place without respecting the principles referred to above.

The board of the ENCJ has repeatedly requested the Turkish High Council for Judges and Prosecutors for details of the procedures followed relating to the extraordinary mass dismissal of thousands of judges and prosecutors and to demonstrate that minimum international standards in relation to disciplinary proceedings against judges and prosecutors have been followed. To date no satisfactory response has been received to these vital inquiries.

As a result of the information that the ENCJ has received and the failure of the Turkish High Council to provide any satisfactory response to it, the board is forced to conclude that the Turkish High Council for Judges and Prosecutors no longer meets the requirements of the ENCJ that it is independent of the executive and legislature so as to ensure the independence of the Turkish Judiciary. The board of the ENCJ has accordingly resolved unanimously to propose to its General Assembly the suspension of the status of Observer to the ENCJ of the HSYK. To this end it has called an extraordinary general meeting which will take place in December 2016.

Scuola Superiore della Magistratura (Photo: www.scuolamagistratura.it)Dear Miss Seda Arslan, the Scuola Superiore della Magistratura (hereinafter SSM) has received the invitation sent by the Turkish Judicial Academy for the participation in the "workshop program of Comparative Law Studies on Judicial Training" planned for the second half of November in Turkey.

The SSM board of Directors, in its meeting held on 6 September 2016, has unanimously decided to reject the invitation.

On July 21, 2016, the SSM joined the statement issued the day before by the Italian Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, that expressed indignation and concern because of the arrest and dismissal of more than 2700 Turkish judges and prosecutors following the post-coup crackdown. It urged the Turkish Authorities to respect judicial independence, fair trial and fundamental rights and exhorted them to comply with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. At the same time, the Italian Judicial Council decided to suspend every form of cooperation with the Turkish Judicial Council.

Since then, according to press headlines, the situation has not changed in Turkey. More than 1600 judges and prosecutors are still detained, together with professors, journalists and public employees; thousands were dismissed from the profession.

MEDEL SMMP MPDAccording to most recent information on Turkish judiciary, 2.847 judges and prosecutors were dismissed following a decision of the Turkish High Council for judges and prosecutor (HSYK) on 24.8.2016.

Such decision appears to have been adopted:

- Without hearings of judges and prosecutors subject to the procedure;
- Without right of defence;
- Without individual assessment;

- Without allegation of objective facts;
- On grounds of emergency based upon suspicions and alleged personal relations.

Representatives of Ministério Público Democrático, Sindicato dos Magistrados do Ministério Público and MEDEL (Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés), gathered in São Paulo on the occasion of the 5th Congress of MPD, assist astonished to the infringements, in such a procedure, of the principles of Rule of Law, Independence of the Judiciary, rules for disciplinary procedures, objective grounds for liability, individual responsibility.

Letter to the High Judicial Council of Turkey by the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in TurkeyLetter sent today to the High Judicial Council of Turkey by the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey:

Honorable President, The international associations of  judges, united in this platform, have learnt that the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) is currently dealing with the removal and dismissal of 3500 judges and prosecutors who are suspended and under criminal investigation. A majority of this group is presently detained.

Regarding this difficult, highly sensitive and far-reaching act, the below mentioned  international associations, strongly appeal to the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors that these decisions on the dismissal/removal ofjudges should be in line with international and European standards.

In the light of the fact that irremovability of  judges is an essential element of judicial  independence, these standards provide only for very limited and specific exceptions from this principle to be applied only within the framework of due procedure.

American Bar AssociationAmerican Bar Association,
Massachusetts Bar Association
Report to The House of Delegates
Adopted as Revised

Resolution

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association, which supports the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession and opposes any Nation’s state’s detention of individuals without charge or access to counsel, calls upon the Government of the Republic of Turkey to:

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