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T URKIS H S O CIAL DEM O CRATIC V IE W C H P

Republican People’s Party

www.chp.org.tr

April 2010

THE TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP: CHP’S NEW PROGRAMME - 2008

THE EU 2020 AND TURKEY

TURKEY’S EU AGENDA AND THE CHP: Constitutional Amendment and the independence of the judiciary European Parliament resolution of 10 February 2010 on Turkey's progress report 2009 How does Turkey’s new foreign policy look from Europe?

THE AGORA : A DEMOCRACY WITHOUT JUDICIARY?

C H P EUROPEAN UNION REPRESENTATION Republican People's Party – Turkey ( Member of the Socialist International )

11, Rond Point Schuman 1040 Brussels T: +32 2 256 7537

F: +32 2 256 7570

brussels@chp.org.tr

www.chp.org.tr

Facebook & Twitter : CHP EU


EU-Turkey Relations in the 2008 CHP Party Programme The CHP supports Turkey’s membership to the Union from the very start. In the 2008 Party Programme of the CHP, it is stated that the CHP: 

regards Turkey’s membership to the EU as a project of social transformation, naturally rooted in the vision for modernization of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey.

is in favor of the full membership within the framework of the fundamental values of the Turkish Republic, which are democracy, respect for human rights, secularism, the rule of law and social welfare for all the citizens.

strongly opposes to the efforts to grant Turkey with a special status other than full membership.

commits fully to the alignment with EU acquis including Maastricht and Copenhagen criteria, and asks that Turkey is treated equally as all other candidate states.

calls on the EU to lift unilateral restrictions on free movement of people, agricultural subsidies and regional development, as laid down in the Negotiation Framework, and to ensure that the free trade agreements concluded between the EU and the third countries concurrently become parallel agreements between Turkey and the third countries concerned.

supports accelerating reform process, while calling on the EU to provide Turkey with an exact date for membership.

EU 2020 AND TURKEY The European Commission’s paper “EU 2020 strategy: A European Strategy for smart, green and inclusive growth” was presented by President Barroso on March 3, 2010. Following the debates in the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, the report will be approved by the EU Council in the meeting to be held in June 2010. The priorities, targets and flagship initiatives determined by the EU Commission in order to set up a social market economy are as follows: PRIORITIES  Smart growth: developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation.  Sustainable growth: promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy.  Inclusive growth: fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion.

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TARGETS  75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed.  3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D.  The "20/20/20" climate/energy targets should be met (including an increase to 30% of emissions reduction if the conditions are right).  The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree.  20 million less people should be at risk of poverty. INSTRUMENTS  For smart growth: Innovation Union, youth on the move, a digital agenda for Europe  For Sustainable growth: Resource efficient Europe and an Industrial policy for globalization era  For Inclusive growth: An agenda for new skills and jobs, European Platform against poverty. CHP’s new programme defines as main target a fair economic order based on European standards and a globally competitive economy. Our objectives in Turkey converge with the EU’s “2020 strategy for a smart, inclusive and sustainable growth”. The European socialists’ concerns that this EU 2020 Strategy should better emphasis the measures for youth employment, education, vocational training and support to SMEs are also at the core of CHP’s new programme for Turkey.

‘Tackling youth unemployment must become EU priority’. PES criticizes European Commission and conservative governments for ignoring this challenge. Contrary to the European Commission and their proposal for a Europe 2020 Strategy, the PES believes that increasing the employment of young people must become a key priority for the EU. In a press conference held on March 17, 2010, PES made its initial comments on the report "Promoting youth access to the labor market, strengthening trainee, internship and apprenticeship status" prepared by the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL). PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen criticizes conservative Finance Ministers and Prime Ministers for their continuous effort to cut public investments in the labor market. In order to tackle youth unemployment, PES and ECOSY are asking for a job guarantee for young people to be subsidized from the European Social Fund, a fiscal incentive for SMEs to offer paid internships and traineeships, a directive to establish minimum criteria for internships, more investment in education and a special project for young people under the EU microfinance faciliy.

We firmly believe that both Turkey and the European Union have a lot to gain from better integrating major challenges of the EU 2020 Strategy into the agenda of the accession partnership. The EU and Turkey have to work more for our common concerns for a better Europe. A successful Turkey in the EU membership process will bring Europe more geo-strategic role, economic dynamism, youthful force, natural, cultural and historical richness, security and energy.

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TURKEY’S EU AGENDA AND THE CHP Constitutional Amendment and the independence of the Judiciary Turkey has recently discussed the draft constitutional amendment package prepared by the ruling party, AKP, without integrating all the parties in the Parliament in the process. If the package gets between 330-367 votes, the AKP will go for a referendum on the changes. As the main opposition party, the CHP has supported for long the idea of changing the constitution with the aim of further enhancement of Turkish democracy, and shared continuously , in this regard, its stance with public. However, the CHP will not support the AKP’s efforts to change the constitution for the following two reasons: A question of methodology: the need for social consensus It is beyond doubt that constitutional changes inherently require a great degree of social consensus. Democracy is instrumental for social consensus. Unfortunately, during the AKP ruling, democracy in Turkey has meant only elections, paving in essence the way for the authoritarian ruling of a single man for a period of five years: It is an undeniable fact in today’s Turkey that almost all opponents of the AKP have been labeled as Ergenekon-associated people. The Prime Minister Erdogan has called on the media owners to dismiss the columnists criticizing the AKP’s policies. The anti AKP press was levied on excessive tax penalties, the opinions of the opposition parties in the Parliament have been continuously ignored, the principle of separation of powers has been consciously violated by the AKP, and the fact that civil society, freedom of speech, press freedom and judicial independence is the structural elements of democracy has been forgotten. The CHP, on the other hand, opposes the AKP’s initiative to change the constitution mainly because of the fact that AKP was labeled by the Constitutional Court as the centre of the activities against secularism, and that lacks for a consensus based political culture. The CHP proposes that the constitutional amendment be made in the next Parliamentary term. All the parties involved, meanwhile, should work on the methods, proposals that would pave the way for a broader social consensus. A question of principles: the CHP wants a Constitution inspired by the European democratic values The CHP conceives a package of constitutional amendments, the main principles and the objectives of which are as follows:  the broad consultative process on which the constitutional amendments are build.  the principle of secularism as one of the main pillars of the Turkish Republic.  Judicial independence, and in this regard, the elimination of constitutional basis of the government intervention in judiciary  Lifting the parliamentary immunities  Strengthening the women rights and ensuring the gender equality in the public and work life.

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 Freedom of communication guaranteed for all citizens and respect for the privacy of personal lives  Enhancing social rights  Guaranteeing human rights and promoting pluralism To promote an atmosphere of national consensus, I last week proposed to the Parliament and the President of Republic to dissociate all the amendments on which a compromise is possible. We can vote and approve these 24 articles very quickly. Then if the government insists really, it can bring to a referendum remaining three amendments of discontent, concerning the structure of the judiciary system. We can then discuss rationally the deep concerns of the Turkish public on the increasing domination of the judiciary system by the executive power. The CHP’ stance for judicial independence is explained below in detail. The Independence of the Judiciary and the Guarantees of Judges Judicial independence and the guarantee of judges are essential for a fully-fledged implementation of the principle of separation of powers. Today, in most of the European countries, the rising tendency of the executive branch of the government to intervene in judiciary has been severely criticized. The CHP has closely followed these discussions and set its point of view regarding the modern judicial system of the 21st century. As a participation from the Council of Europe to the above mentioned discussion, the Consultative Council of European Judges-CCJE-, prepared the Opinion no10 (2007) on “the Council for Judiciary at the Service of Society”, in consultation with the Venice Commission, and submitted it to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The aim of the Opinion is to identify the core elements in relation to the general mission, composition and functions of the Council for the Judiciary with a view to strengthening democracy and to protecting the independence of the judiciary. The equivalent of such a Council in Turkey is The High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HCJP). In the below chart, the structure, composition and the functioning of the HCJP as regulated in the Turkish Constitution is presented and analyzed in the light of the core elements set by the CCJE. The chart also compares the benchmarks of the judicial reform planned by the CHP with those included in the AKP’s newly presented constitutional amendment package. As seen from the chart, the benchmarks set in the 2008 party programme of the CHP is in line with those laid down in the Opinion of the CCEJ, especially in respect of better guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary. According to the AKP’s reform package, the Minister of Justice and the Undersecretary of the Minister of Justice shall be the natural members of the High Council, as they currently are. The number of members elected by and among from the High Court of Appeals and the Council of State is very few, compared to those to be elected to the Council among from the non-judiciary members. Moreover, conferring on the lower court members the right to elect members to the High Council is most likely to create a conflict between the lower and higher courts. Without integrating the all segments of society, especially the judiciary itself, into the constitutional reform process, the AKP dictated its package, to Turkey.

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the composition of the Council for the Judiciary:

In general

CCJE Opinion n10(2007)

it is important to set up a specific body, such as the Council for the Judiciary, mentioned in a constitutional text or equivalent and entrusted with the protection of the independence of judges, as a an essential element in a state governed by the rule of law and thus respecting the principle of the separation of powers, as defined in Article 6 of the ECHR

The Council for the Judiciary may also be exclusively composed of judges or a substantial majority of judges, Prospective members, whether judges or not, shall be appointed on the basis of their competence, experience, understanding of judicial life and culture of independence. Also, they should not be active politicians or members of the executive or the legislature; Judge members should be elected by their peers, without any interference from political authorities or judicial hierarchies, through methods guaranteeing the widest representation of the judiciary. The appointment of non-judge members, with or without a legal experience, should be entrusted to non-political; if they are however elected by the Parliament, they should not be members of the Parliament, should be elected by a qualified majority necessitating significant opposition support

The HCJP regulated in the Turkish Constitution and in the relevant law. 

The High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HCJP) has been regulated with Article 159 of Constitution, and Law on High Council of Judges and Prosecutors No: 2461 (O.G.:14.5.1981 No: 17340), and has exercised its functions in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the guarantees of judges.

The HCJP in the CHP 2008 Party Programme 

The HCJP shall be regulated by the Constitution and be composed of the bodies for administrative judiciary and the ordinary judiciary.

The members of the body for the ordinary judiciary shall be elected by the Plenary Assembly of the High Court of Appeals from among its own members. Similarly, the members of the ordinary judiciary shall be elected by the Plenary Assembly of the Council of State from among its own members. The president of the HCJP shall be nominated and elected from among its own members. The membership of the Minister of Justice and the Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice in the HCJP shall cease.

The Constitutional Amendment Package of the AKP and the HCJP 

The HCJP shall be regulated by the Constitution and be composed of three different divisions. A separate regulatory law will be enacted in the Parliament following the adoption of the Constitutional amendment legislation package.

The HCJP shall be composed of 21 regular and 10 substitute members. The President of the Council shall be the Minister of Justice. The Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice shall be the natural member of the Council. The President of the Council shall not be participating to the works of the divisions. Each division shall elect its own president among from its own members. 4 regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President of the Republic among the lawyers and University scholars and the high ranked officials; 1 regular and 1 substitute member shall be elected by the Constitutional Court among from its own members; 3 regular and 2 substitute members shall be elected by the Plenary Assembly of the High Court of Appeals from among its own members;1 regular and 1 substitute member shall be elected by the Plenary Assembly of the Council of State among from its own members; 7 regular and 4 substitute members shall be elected by the ordinary lower courts among from their first class judges; 3 regular and 2 substitute members shall be elected by the administrative lower courts among from their first class judges. Their terms of office are four years. They shall be re-elected.

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 

The HCJP is composed of 7 regular and 5 substitute members. The President of the Council is the Minister of Justice. The Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice shall be an ex-officio member of the Council. The Council elects a deputy president from among its elected regular members. Three regular and three substitute members of the Council shall be appointed by the President of the Republic for a term of four years from a list of three candidates nominated for each vacant office by the Plenary Assembly of the High Court of Appeals from among its own members and two regular and two substitute members shall be similarly appointed from a list of three candidates nominated for each vacant office by the Plenary Assembly of the Council of State. Members of the Council shall be appointed among the first class judges and public prosecutors qualified to be selected to High Courts. They may be re-elected at the end of their term of office.

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On the functioning of the Council for the Judiciary

On the powers of the Council for the Judiciary

CCJE Opinion n10(2007)

members (judges and nonjudges) should be granted guarantees for their independence and impartiality the Council for the Judiciary should manage its own budget and be financed to allow an optimum and independent functioning some decisions of the Council of the Judiciary shall be reasoned and have binding force, subject to the possibility of a judicial appeal an ethical code for judiciary members should be adopted

The HCJP regulated in the Turkish Constitution and in the relevant law. 

the Council of the Judiciary should preferably be competent in the selection, appointment and promotion of judges; this should be carried out in absolute independence from the legislature or the executive as well as in absolute transparency as to the criteria of selection of judges the Council for the Judiciary may also be the appropriate agency to play a broad role in the field of the promotion and protection of the image of justice prior to its deliberation in Parliament, the Council for the Judiciary shall be consulted on all draft legislation likely to have an impact on the judiciary, e.g. the independence of the judiciary, or which might diminish citizens' guarantee of access to justice

The HCJP in the CHP 2008 Party Programme

The High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors shall be established and shall exercise its functions in accordance with the principles of the independence of the courts and the guarantees of judges. Judges and public prosecutors shall not be dismissed, or retired before the age prescribed by the Constitution; - nor shall they be deprived of their salaries, allowances or other rights relating to their status, even as a result of the abolition of court or post. The High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors hasn’t a separate budget. The Council receives its financial resources from the Ministry of Justice’s budget. The decisions of the Council are reasoned, but are not subject to judicial appeal. ethical code for judiciary doesn’t exist.

The High Council has an important role in area of personnel policy. The HCJP is competent with the admission of judges and public prosecutors within the civil, criminal and administrative judiciary into the profession, appointment, transfer to other posts, temporarily authorization in a different courthouse, promotion and designation to first class, allocation of posts, deciding against those whose continuation in the profession is found to be unsuitable, imposition of disciplinary sanctions, and dismissal from the post.

Investigations of judges or public prosecutors whether they have committed offences in connection with, or in the course of their duties, and performed their tasks pursuant to the law in force are conducted by the judicial inspector and subject to the permission of Ministry Of Justice. .

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the independence of the courts and the guarantees of judges enshrined in the constitution shall be deeply respected and guaranteed. The HCJP shall have its own personnel and financial resources. The decisions of the HCJP concerning the appointment and the promotion of the judges and prosecutors, and the disciplinary and dismissal from the professions sanctions imposed against judges and prosecutors shall be subject to a judicial appeal. An ethical code for judiciary members shall be adopted. The HCJP shall continue to exercise their powers entrusted them by the Constitution. Judicial inspectors shall perform under the supervision of the HCJP. Investigations of judges or public prosecutors whether they have committed offences in connection with, or in the course of their duties, and performed their task pursuant to the law in force shall be subject to the permission of the HCJP.

The Constitutional Amendment Package of the AKP and the HCJP 

The competences and the tasks of the Council and the attached divisions shall be regulated by a separate legislation. A Secretariat General attached to the Council shall be set up. There is no mention of whether or not the Council would have a separate budget. Except for the sanction of dismissal from profession imposed on the judges and prosecutors, the decisions of the Council shall be subject to a judicial appeal. There is no mention of the ethical code for all judiciary personal.

The HCJP shall continue to exercise their powers entrusted them by the Constitution. Investigations of judges or public prosecutors whether they have committed offences in connection with, or in the course of their duties, and performed their task pursuant to legislations, by-law, and decrees in force (administrative decrees when judges are concerned) shall be performed by the judicial inspectors of the Council and subject to the permission of the HCJP upon the initiation of such investigation by the relevant division of the Council.


European Parliament Resolution of 2010 on Turkey's Progress Report 2009 On January 27, 2010, the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the draft resolution prepared by the Christian Democrat Parliamentarian Ria Oomen-Ruijten on Turkey's 2009 progress report, and the draft motion was finalized on February 10. Although, the Resolution does not have a legal binding effect on Turkey, it is an important document revealing the general attitude of the EP towards Turkey’s membership. The EP Resolution has criticized the AKP government for its failure of guaranteeing the rule of law, democracy, human rights and freedoms. The CHP agrees with these criticisms. However, it is very unfortunate to find out in that Resolution that the EP is of contradictory, even wrong opinions about Turkey, giving harm to the objectivity and the credibility of the Resolution. In the Turkey- EU Joint Parliamentary Commission (JPC) Meeting held on February 22-23, 2010 in Brussels, Mr. Onur Öymen, the vice president of the CHP and the vice co-president to JPC expressed the CHP’s point of view regarding the EP resolution, while at the same time strongly stressed that the CHP not oppose to the Resolution as a whole. The Assessments in the Resolution shared by the CHP  The legislative changes are not sufficient for bringing Turkish democracy in line with those of the EU countries. Better implementation of the amended law in the areas of women's rights, non-discrimination, freedom of religion, thought and belief, freedom of speech and expression, zero tolerance of torture and the fight against corruption are also essential.  A union law should be enacted as soon as possible to ensure the labor rights and social state.  The government fails to provide sufficient guarantee for freedom of expression. The continued restrictions on press freedom, particularly on reporting on the investigations into the Ergenekon network by imposing of an unprecedented fine on a media group as well as frequent website bans are startling.  The Government should devote further attention to eradicating corruption, to increase the transparency of funding of political parties and election campaigns and to promote openness of administration at all levels. The CHP agrees on this assessment without any reservation and draws attention to the fact that the politics manipulated by money is very much detrimental to democracy. The disagreements on the Resolution  The CHP regrets that the EU has devised the reports related to Turkey through a very limited and one- way news channels, that is, in turn, detrimental to the objectivity and constructive nature of these reports.  The Remarks in the Resolution regarding Cyprus seem to be exclusively made based on the arguments of the Greek Cypriots. It is not fair, on the one hand, to be asked from Turkey to make

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bilateral concession, while the negotiations on the Island are continuing, on the other hand. The current wording of the Resolution may satisfy the Greek Cypriots, while having no use of the settlement the dispute on the Island and hurting the positive image of the EU, the EP in particular, in Turkey.  Similarly, it is stated in the Resolution that Turkey should ratify, without any preconditions, the protocols concluded between Turkey and Armenia. In other words, Turkey is asked for opening its borders with Armenia, irrespective of Armenia to withdraw its forces from the Azerbaijan lands occupied by Armenia. The latter is the prerequisite for Turkey to ratify the signed protocols; however, not even a single word of these preconditions is made in the Resolution.  It is said in the Resolution that the structure and the composition of the HCJP (High Council of Judges and Prosecutors) must be revised. The EP used to refer in its resolutions/reports very often to the independence of the judiciary. In this Resolution, the EP, do, instead, refer to such terms as impartiality, objectivity, transparency and representation, which the CHP has found it to be unfortunate.  The military intervention in Turkish politics and foreign policy is criticized in the Resolution. The CHP demands that the allegations on the military intervention be substantiated by the solid and concrete proofs, which would otherwise be perceived as, excessive, groundless and being far from persuasive. Mr Öymen pointed out that he has not witnessed over the past eight year of his term in the Parliament any sort of intervention of the military in Turkish politics and foreign policy issues including the rejection of the 2003 government motion bill on the deployment of the American combat troops in Turkey.  As for the Greek Orthodox Halki seminary, it is necessary to point out once again that according to our constitution, no private religious and military high school can be established. In order to meet the clergy needs of the Orthodox Community, the Halki seminary can be reopened and attached to the Faculty of Theology attached to the University of İstanbul.

How does the New Turkish Foreign Policy Look From Europe? Two Meetings in Brussels : Suspicions Raised Regarding the Turkey’s New Foreign Policy

Recently, some commentators have argued that Turkey is turning away from the West to the East. During his visit to Brussels in January 2009, after a four-year break, Prime Minister Erdoğan made the audience disappointed by his speech. He centered his speech on Hamas and used a very emotional language on the Israel-Philistine conflict, instead of demonstrating Turkey’s institutional standpoint. This gave the impression to some that Turkey is part of the problem but not part of the solution.

By Kader Sevinç, CHP EU Representative Strategic Thinking Review, October, 2009 Undoubtedly, the political and economic developments in the EU member states are immediately echoed in Brussels. Domestic political discussions in the European countries regarding Turkey’s accession to the EU have recently gained impetus, naturally depending on the ups-and-downs of political and social transformation in Turkey.

He blamed the international media, in particular BBC, for standing on the side of Israel in the Israel-

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Philistine conflict. Furthermore, he continued to harshly criticize the free media in Turkey.

the questions whether the axis of the Turkish foreign policy has shifted from the West to the East.

About eight months after the Erdoğan’s speech, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoğlu, revealed thoroughly the main elements and pillars of the Turkey’s “new” foreign policy in the conference held in the Center for European Policies in October 2009. Mr. Davutoğlu did not focus on the EU-Turkey relations contrary to what had been expected. The listeners were very much eager to hear about the recent democratic developments in Turkey and their reflections on foreign policy, even though his speech was an excellent one in that it centered on the historical relations between the EU and Turkey. Finally, he allocated most of his time to explain Turkey’s increasingly active role in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia as a regional peace-maker and mediator, ‘zero problems with the neighbours’ policy and the newly developed regional networks for cooperation. The focus of Mr.Davutoğlu’s speech raised once again

Obviously, that Turkey has risen a powerful European democracy in its region and built and deepen substantive networks for cooperation with its surrounding regions are very much welcomed in international arena. It is believed that these trends would have an ultimate positive impact on Turkey’s EU bid. However, the driving force behind Turkey’s regional initiatives should serve to the aim of the enhancement of Turkish democracy. The countries with which Turkey has sought to develop strong ties do not unfortunately have democratic secular traditions, and that has increased suspicions in the EU of the future direction that Turkey will likely take. If the methods, discourse and the action points of this new foreign policy are carefully designed, managed and followed, this might contribute to Turkey’s regional power in the long run.

The AGORA : A democracy without Judiciary

A democracy without judiciary? RIZA TÜRMEN (Former Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe – Strasbourg) Milliyet - February 22, 2010

The above concepts, however, are inseparable, interconnected and parts of a whole. Democracy today is not just a parliament and a government elected. It is a system of values consisting of pluralism, human rights, law state, and separation of forces and independence of the judiciary. The separation of forces aims to prevent authority shifts and the government from being the only power. This is done through an independent judiciary. Boundaries of a government are drawn by judicial control and the government is forced to remain within the limits of law. It is wrong to see this as limiting people’s power by judges. The judiciary, here, makes decisions in the name of the people, provides people a mechanism to keep the government within the legal system.

The arrest of Erzincan Chief Public Prosecutor İlhan Cihaner has indicated dangerous dimensions of polarization in Turkey. We cannot agree on even the most basic fundamentals such as “democracy,” “independence of judiciary,” and “separation of forces.” Each group is trying to exploit these concepts according to their own ideology. Everything is turning out to be a tool for something; the democracy and judiciary are no exceptions. But, they are not tools. They are objectives. Another thing about the Cihaner discussion is that such notions have not been settled in Turkey yet. And that starts a nonsense discussion over priorities. Which is first, democracy or judiciary? Or what is the priority, independence of judiciary or neutrality?

In democratic law states, law is not a mean for politics, but a legitimate source of politics. This is the most critical question in the Cihaner incident.

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What he was told, however: “You cannot apply law everywhere. If you apply the law on gold mines and religious communities, you will be in trouble.”

About a problem that needs to be solved within the judiciary, the government takes side. But this is against the separation of forces principle. Besides, it has raised doubts that the prosecutors who are ripped of special authority have close ties with the government.

The judiciary and judges must be independent. The judiciary and judges must be independent of political power, of the judiciary and of their own thoughts even. On the other hand, impartiality and independence are inseparable. The goal of independence is neutrality. Could a judiciary dependent on the government be impartial? The European Court of Human Rights, in all its decisions, takes up neutrality and independence together.

The justice minister is in a difficult position as well. He is a member of the Cabinet on one side and the chairman of the HSYK on the other. He preferred to wear the first hat in this particular case and threw away the second. If the justice minister quits the HSYK chairmanship, I think both he and the board will be relieved.

A concept has been developed in Turkey that “The judiciary is acting ideologically not neutrally. Its dependence on the government at times is justifiable.”

Article 159 in the Constitution allows judges and prosecutors to “grant temporary authorities” or “suspension of duty.” The HSYK Law, numbered 2461, regulates these permissions in detailed fashion. In this case, could it be possible to claim that the HSYK attempted “intrusion of authority”?

We may criticize court decisions. But thinking “there is judicial tutelage, so let’s stop independence of the judiciary and free ourselves from tutelage” is extremely dangerous in terms of democracy.

The HSYK possesses some certain authority while exercising its power. If the board has determined that the said prosecutors stepped out of their capacity, we should have respect of the HSYK’s decision.

In the incident involving prosecutor Cihaner, the government reacted against the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, or HSYK, for stripping off special authorities of the prosecutors assigned for a particular case. The government wrongly read this as “intrusion of authority.” That started the crisis.

If we want an independent and impartial judiciary, can we not leave the judiciary alone a little?

http://brussels.chp.org.tr

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CHP Turkish Social Democratic European Bulletin April 2010  

CHP Turkish Social Democratic European Bulletin April 2010