Category Archives: Turkije

Trial observation regarding Turkish judges Baser and Öczelik

On February Flag_of_Turkey.svg10th, 2016, the former chair of Judges for Judges, Gerritjan Van Oven observed the second hearing in the criminal trial against the judges Baser and Öczelik in Ankara (Turkey).

Judges for Judges has been following their cases since their arrest and detention in May 2015 (see for more information: http://www.rechtersvoorrechters.nl/judges-for-judges-concerned-by-the-arrest-and-ongoing-detention-of-two-turkish-judges/).

IAJ Honorary President Mr. Gerhard Reissner observed the trial as well, he had been also present at the hearing of January 21sIAJt.

Although three days were earmarked for this trial, it was postponed after the first day. After motions of the defense lawyers concerning the competency of the court were denied earlier that day finally all the lawyers stepped down and the two accused judges remained without defense lawyers. Due to the type of the offenses the two judges are suspected of a defense lawyer is necessary, so the trial had to be adjourned. The prosecutor put forward a motion to keep the judges in detention. Both of them delivered in response a long and impressive argumentation showing why there is no legal basis to keep them in prison.

In spite of their arguments, after a break the court announced that the accused judges should remain in detention and that they had 15 days to reorganize their defense otherwise a court appointed defense counsel would be assigned.

The court also announced which witnesses the court is going to hear. The two accused judges made clear that they wanted to be present during the questioning of the witnesses and that they also want to have the possibility to ask them questions in order to defend themselves.Rechters voor Rechters

The court made it possible that the accused could see their families, which had traveled from Istanbul to Ankara to follow the hearing, among them the wife of defendant Öczelik, a medical doctor, who used to work for the Bezmialem Vakif University Hospital but who was fired without reasoning but right after the arrest of her husband and the couple´s 5 year old son, who was probably for the same reason expelled from his kindergarten.
The observers also had a short possibility to speak with the accused judges and their families.

The next hearing will take place March 14th, Judges for Judges plans to send an observer again.

Informele bijeenkomst Special Rapporteur Monica Pinto en NGO-supportgroup

Evert van der Molen overhandigt exemplaar Matters of Principle aan Monica Pinto
Evert van der Molen overhandigt exemplaar Matters of Principle aan Monica Pinto

Op uitnodiging van Monica Pinto, de speciale rapporteur voor de onafhankelijkheid van rechters en advocaten bij de Verenigde Naties, vond op 16 september 2015, eveneens in Genève, een informele bijeenkomst plaats waarvoor NGO’s als International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Human Right Watch (HRW)) en ook Rechters voor Rechters (RR) waren uitgenodigd. In totaal waren vertegenwoordigers van zo’n 15 NGO’s aanwezig. RR werd vertegenwoordigd door bestuurslid Evert van der Molen.

Monica Pinto vertelde in haar openingswoord dat zij erg is ingenomen met de hoge opkomst en dat zij graag ideeën zou vernemen over de thema’s die de komende tijd prioriteit moeten krijgen. Dat leverde een staalkaart van suggesties op. Om er enkele te noemen Continue reading Informele bijeenkomst Special Rapporteur Monica Pinto en NGO-supportgroup

J4J condemns the unreasoned removal of Murat Arslan against his will

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey

Dear Mr. President,

The Dutch Foundation Judges for Judges — which aims to support fellow judges abroad who have experienced or may experience problems related to their profession — kindly draws your attention to the case of our Turkish colleague Murat Arslan.

Murat Arslan, chairman of Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV) was recently removed from his duty as reporter in the Constitutional Court. He was informed earlier this month by the Court’s Secretary-General that he had been relieved of his post which he had held for the past 10 years. No reasons therefore were given.

[…]

We condemn the unreasoned removal of Murat Arslan against his will to his former judicial post, we therefore ask you as the President of the Constitutional Court for reinstatement of Murat Arslan to his duty as reporter in your Court.

[Read the whole letter (pdf)]

See also: J4J concerned by the arrest and ongoing detention of two Turkish judges

 

J4J concerned by the arrest and ongoing detention of two Turkish judges

Judges for Judges is very concerned by the arrest and ongoing detention of two Turkish judges Metin Özçelik and Mustafa Başer since April 30th and the 1st of May respectively.

In a society based on the rule of law it is the duty of the government to respect and protect the independence of the judiciary. But we are alarmed by this apparent serious interference with the work of these judges in politically sensitive cases.

This because there are serious indications that these two judges were arrested and detained as a result of decisions they made while discharging their professional duties rather than on evidence of criminal activity.

Tamara Trotman had a meeting in Istanbul on July 27th 2015 with Başer’s and Özçelik’s lawyers Hacer Yilmaz and Önder Durdu. Afterwards there was a pressconference in front of the Court in Istanbul where both lawyers made statements about the cases of their clients.
Further reading:

Continue reading J4J concerned by the arrest and ongoing detention of two Turkish judges

MEDEL Resolution on the Imprisonment of Judges and Prosecutors in Turkey

[…]

  • MEDEL stresses that the arres of Judges and Prosecutors based on decisions they made as part of their job clearly contradicts the Turkisch Constitution, the European Convention of Human Rights, al other international texts on this matter and the basic principles of Judicial Independence.
  • MEDEL declares that it is unacceptable to use arrests and dismissals to intimidate and deter Judges and Prosecutors when they work on critical cases and stresses that arrests and dismissals must no be misused as punishment from the government.
  • MEDEL condemns the arrest and dismissal of Judges and Prosecutors on the basis of decisions taken in the exercise of their judicial functions and calls for the immediate release of the Judges and Prosecutors and their reinstament in their former duties.

[…]

(PDF) / MEDEL

MEDEL Resolution sur l’Arrestation de Juges et de Procureurs en Turquie

[…]

  • MEDEL affirme que les arrestations de juges et de procureurs fondées sur les décisions qu’ils ont prises dans le cadre de leurs fonctions sont contraires à la Constitution turque, à la Convetion européenne de droits de l’Homme, à tous les textes internationaux en la matière et aux principes fondamentaux d’indépendance du pouvoir judicaire.
  • MEDEL déclare qu’il est inacceptable que de juges eet procureurs qui travaillent sur des affaires sensibles soient menacés d’être incarcérés ou révouqués et que l’arrestation et la révocation ne doivent pas d’être utilesés comme des punititions par le gouvernement.
  • MEDEL condamne les arrestations et les révocations des juges et procureurs turcs sur le fondement de leurs décisions juridictionnelles et appelle à la libération immédiate de nos collègues et à leur réintégration dans leurs fonctions.

[…]

(PDF) / MEDEL

Turkey’s top court confronts Erdoğan’s government on judicial independence

In what is seen as an escalation of the locking of horns between the judiciary and the government over judicial independence, the Constitutional Court announced on Friday it partially annulled a highly controversial law to restructure the HSYK, which went into effect in February after being approved by the president.

The Constitutional Court announced on Friday it partially annulled a highly controversial law to restructure the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), which went into effect in February after being approved by the president.

[ Continue reading at todayszaman.com]

Nieuwsflits 2014-01: RR aanwezig bij Medel

Nieuwsflits 2104-01 is verschenen (pdf)

RR aanwezig bij Medel

Op 13-16 februari vond in Braga (Portugal) de Medelconferentie plaats. Medel staat voor Magistrats européens pour la démocratie et la liberté [www]. Rechters voor Rechters heeft daar de status van observer. Esther de Rooij heeft Rechters voor Rechters vertegenwoordigd.

Gesproken is o.a over de situatie in Turkije. Onze Turkse collega’s zijn verontrust, boos en zeer geëmotioneerd over wat er gaande is in Turkije. Na het gestarte onderzoek in december 2013 naar corruptie bij de regering van Erdogan is de situatie voor onze collega’s in snel tempo ernstig geworden. Zij zijn met stomheid geslagen dat zich deze ontwikkeling kon voordoen. Vele politiemannen, officieren en rechters zijn verplaatst omdat deze de regering onwelgevallige beslissingen hadden genomen. Zoals onze Turkse collega opende conferentie zei: het is “in, in, incredible” wat hier gebeurt. Continue reading Nieuwsflits 2014-01: RR aanwezig bij Medel

Stichting Rechters voor Rechters feliciteert Çağatay Çetin

De van oorsprong Turks-Koerdische rechter Çağatay Çetin is ongeveer anderhalf jaar geleden naar Nederland gekomen als politieke vluchteling en heeft hier asiel aangevraagd. Çetin werd, vanwege zijn opvattingen over de Armeense genocide (1915) en de behandeling van Koerden in Turkije, vervolgd wegens onder andere smaad en belediging van de Turkse nationaliteit en staat. In februari 2011 is hij bij verstek veroordeeld tot een gevangenisstraf van ruim zeventien jaar, onder meer voor het vervalsen van documenten en belediging van een officier van justitie. Volgens Çağatay Çetin is er sprake van een politiek schijnproces waarbij hij niet de mogelijkheid heeft zijn wettelijke rechten te effectueren.

Stichting Rechters voor Rechters heeft de schrijnende situatie van Çağatay Çetin middels de media en middels persoonlijke gesprekken met Çetin zelf, in bijzijn van zijn advocaat mr. Wijngaarden, nauwlettend in de gaten gehouden en bezien in hoeverre wij – op het facilitaire vlak – een helpende hand konden aanreiken.

Op donderdag 19 mei 2011 hebben wij vernomen dat de IND, na een periode van ruim anderhalf jaar, heeft besloten Çağatay Çetin een asielvergunning te verlenen. Stichting Rechters voor Rechters feliciteert Çağatay Çetin met dit heugelijke feit en wenst hem het allerbeste toe voor de toekomst!