Muslim World Top Stories Trending Now Turkey World

Erdogan introduces judicial reforms package

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has introduced judicial reforms package aimed at joining the European Union.

The packages came after years of criticism of Erdogan’s rule over a crackdown on dissidents and the jailing of thousands said to be linked to a 2016 coup attempt.

Speaking from his palace in Ankara, the president took aim at the European Union, which a day earlier released a damning report on Turkey’s bid to join the union.

Erdogan, who oversaw the start of accession talks in 2005, reaffirmed his commitment to EU membership while striking a note of reproach. “We implement the reforms not because the EU wants them but because our nation needs them,” he said in the televised address.

Since the failed coup, Turkey has jailed more than 77,000 people on suspicion of links to the group it says organised the attempt.

About 150,000 civil servants, teachers, journalists, police officers, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs over alleged support for Fethullah Gulen, a US-based scholar, who Erdogan says orchestrated the putsch.

Gulen denies any involvement in the coup attempt, which led to at least 250 deaths, while critics of the government say the crackdown has been used to stifle all forms of dissent.

The judicial reform package, which was designed after consultation with legal experts and human rights groups, aimed to “strengthen our nation’s sense of justice”, Erdogan said.

While going into some detail on issues such as the training of lawyers and prosecutors, he gave little insight into how Turkey – ranked 109th out of 126 countries in the World Justice Project’s 2019 Rule of Law Index – would address criticism on issues such as the jailing of critical journalists, or the conviction of hundreds for insulting the president.

Ozturk Turkdogan, chair of the Turkish Human Rights Association, one of the groups consulted over the reforms, reacted with caution to Erdogan’s speech.

While welcoming the “positive step” he added: “We have to wait for the relevant concrete draft laws to be tabled at the parliament in order to make a detailed evaluation and assessment of the strategy and roadmap.”

Turkdogan, who was himself arrested in 2017 while taking part in a protest, also called for a “new and democratic constitution based on the principle of separation of powers founded on the rule of law”.

Dear TNT Reader,

At The News Tribe, our mission is to bring you free, independent, and unbiased news and content that keeps you informed and empowered. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism, as we understand that we are a platform for truth.

Apart from independent global news coverage, we also commit our unique focus on the Muslim world. In an age marked by the troubling rise of Islamophobia and widespread misrepresentation of Muslims in Western media, we strive to provide accurate and fair coverage.

But to continue doing so, we need your support. Even a small donation of 1$ can make a big difference. Your contribution will help us maintain the quality of our news and counteract the negative narratives that are so prevalent.

Please consider donating today to ensure we can keep delivering the news that matters. Together, we can make a positive impact on the world, and work towards a more inclusive, informed global society.

Monthly Subscription Annual Subscription

Visa Card MasterCard American Express Card

We want to hear your Travel Stories.

Do you have a memorable, unbelievable, or favorite travel experience? Share your story with us.