Turkish judges get training on freedom
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
There will be fewer such cases taken to the ECHR at the end of the freedom of expression training process, Council of Europe’s Gabriella Dragoni says. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELThe Council of Europe has been providing training to Turkish judges and prosecutor to ensure that the article of the European Convention of Human Rights on freedom of expression is correctly applied and interpreted in Turkey, according to Council of Europe Deputy Secretary-General Gabriella Battaini Dragoni.
“Freedom of speech and media freedom are fundamental issues for democratic societies, so we must do everything we can to make sure that this freedom is protected and can be enjoyed by everybody,” Dragoni told Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview.
Dragoni has been visiting Istanbul for a ministerial meeting of the Council of Europe on social cohesion.
Speaking to Daily News on the sidelines of the conference, Dragoni said the Council is aware that there are difficulties in the areas of freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey, “however there are also difficulties in other parts of Europe,” she said.
The Council of Europe has been providing a technical assistance program for the Turkish Ministry of Justice, Dragoni said. “The program provides training for judges and prosecutors, and started a year ago. It will continue for one more year. We want to make sure that the article on freedom of expression in the European Convention of Human Rights is correctly applied and interpreted in Turkey,” she said.
There are number of cases in the pipeline at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning the issue of freedom of expression in Turkey. “It will be very important to look carefully and to understand exactly the meaning of the decisions when the court’s work is finished,” Dragoni said.
There will be fewer such cases taken to the ECHR at the end of the training process, Dragoni said. “The more the national system functions properly in terms of interpreting rights, the fewer disputes will emerge,” she said.
The fact that the Turkish Ministry of Justice is very involved in the Council of Europe program indicates that “they are aware of their problems and want to get out of them,” Dragoni said. “It is very important for the people of Turkey to recognize the important efforts we [the Council] are making and [Turkey is] making in order to have a transparent and efficient justice system and a good understanding of the European Convention for Human Rights.”