CoE concerned about lack of openness in Turkey

CoE concerned about lack of openness in Turkey

CoE concerned about lack of openness in Turkey

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The Council of Europe has called on Turkey to pursue reforms to prevent and curb corruption. In a report published on March 17 by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), a body of the Council of Europe focused on fighting corruption, the need to provide more openness in the parliamentary process was highlighted as a major concern. A large part of the report dealt with the need to considerably strengthen the independence of the judiciary from executive powers and political influence.

Regarding the legislative process in the Turkish parliament, the GRECO report called for more transparency through the use of public consultation.

Determined measures are also required to ensure that parliamentary immunity is not used as a means to hinder or hamper criminal investigations against members of parliament suspected of corruption or other similar misconduct, the report said.

The report also stressed the need to step up efforts to establish codes of ethics for legislators, in particular to prevent conflict of interest situations.

GRECO furthermore called on Turkey to take a number of dedicated measures in order to strengthen the independence of the judiciary in general and of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) vis-à-vis executive powers in particular, as well as to increase the influence of the judiciary itself in the selection and training of judges and prosecutors and to adopt codes of ethics for these professional groups.

By the end of April 2017, Turkey is to report back on measures taken to implement the 22 recommendations included in this report. GRECO will then assess the implementation of these recommendations within its “compliance procedure.”