Former high court member elected as Turkey’s first ombudsman
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet photoParliament elected Mehmet Nihat Ömeroğlu, a retired member of the Supreme Court of Appeals, as Turkey’s first chief ombudsman late Nov. 27.
Ömeroğlu was among the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals who approved late Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s sentence under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which outlaws “publicly insulting the Turkish nation, the Republic of Turkey and its government, Parliament or judiciary,” in July 2006.
Dink was assassinated on Jan. 19, 2007, and Dink’s sentence led to Turkey being found liable at the European Court of Human Rights.
A Joint Parliamentary Commission composed of members from Parliament’s Petition Commission and Human Rights Examination Commission recently shortlisted three nominees for the chief ombudsman, including Ömeroğlu, Yavuz Erkmen, and Halime Nuray Turcan.
Ömeroğlu was elected with 258 out of 279 votes from lawmakers who attended Nov. 27’s General Assembly session.
The Ombudsman’s Office will be responsible for examining and investigating all manners of administrative acts, actions, attitudes and behaviors in terms of respect for human rights and freedoms, conformity with the law and fairness and appropriateness within the framework of the character of the Turkish Republic.