ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The third judicial reform package raised hope for the eight jailed deputies, including CHP İzmir deputy Mustafa Balbay, but the court rejected their release. DHA photo
The Turkish government’s much-vaunted third package of judicial reforms does not offer any solutions to issues such as freedom of expression, the senate of Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) has said.
The ODTÜ Senate criticized the package for its failure to solve problems such as “judgment processes that have turned into a means of punishment and created an oppressive atmosphere.”
“The frequent violation of the freedom of information, evidence showing that some documents used as evidence in indictments are [fraudulent], and the increasing number of students scientists, journalists and public officials under arrest – the reasons for whose arrest is not clear” – are among problems that create anxiety, the senate said in a statement.
“Even people who have come from abroad to testify of their own free will, as well as those who cannot possible tamper with evidence due to their positions, are being held under arrest. The extensions of detention periods are unacceptable, and the judgment process has become a means of punishment. All of this constitutes an oppressive atmosphere,” the senate said, adding that such problems had not been addressed by the third judicial package. The recent reform package gave judges the ability to implement judicial control without a maximum limit rather than relying on pre-trial detention. Previously this was only applicable for those facing charges punishable by a maximum of up to three years in jail.