The Justice Minister wins the race, but justice…
Nowadays, the most popular name among European legal circles is Sadullah Ergin.
I have heard the same words in Strasbourg, both in European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and Council of Europe circles.
“We were not quite expecting it…”
Actually these amendments had been debated for a long time, but where they would lead was not known. It is being frequently repeated that the step taken is on the right direction.
The ECHR is particularly happy about the development. The reason is that they agree that their workload will decrease. An ECHR official who said that Ergin had promised to make these amendments months ago, said: “To tell the truth, we did not expect the extent of it to be this wide.”
Council of Europe circles have also demonstrated extremely positive reactions. They say Turkey has taken a step on the right direction and is now in much greater harmony with the European Convention on Human Rights.
I also checked Brussels. I see that they too are surprised. The step taken has created serious echoes both in the European Commission and in the Council of Europe. It came at a time when whispers were increasing that Turkey was becoming more Islamic, and rumors were spreading that the prime minister was becoming increasingly tough and shifting toward becoming a “one man,” and that justice had gone off track.
Indeed, in every business we do, there is always a “however.”
This time, this “however” revolves around how our justice will implement these amendments.
The new practice almost features a handbook for those judges who contradict ECHR verdicts. It is explained with examples “what they should do, what they should not do and how they should make rulings in compliance with the ECHR.”
The word “however” comes in there. Will our judges comply, or will they again have a mind of their own?
Turkish justice is generally very conservative. It especially prioritizes “the state.” The individual is of secondary importance. It is way behind in harmonizing with Europe on the subject of freedoms. This amendment will drive the entire system and direct it toward the correct path. One thing not to be forgotten is that because of our judges being in contradiction with ECHR verdicts, this country had to pay millions of euros in compensation. The public is tired of this.
Still, the end of the road has not been reached in reform packages.
There are plenty of articles that need to be amended and harmonized with European criteria. This gap will be filled with new packages. We may again be using the same “however” word. At any rate, at least steps have been taken in the right direction for now.
Washington trying to slow Ankara down
There was a very interesting story by Tolga Tanış in daily Hürriyet on Wednesday. An interview conducted with a top level official in the United States administration revealed very clearly the difference of opinion on Syria between Washington and Ankara. Actually, a significant difference of opinion should not be mentioned, to call it “a different approach” is more correct.
Up to now, it was always said that “Americans are using us, pushing us toward war.” In this interview, it emerges that, on the contrary, it is Turkey that is pushing the U.S.
Apparently, the U.S. administration is annoyed that Erdoğan is at their throat. Turkey wants an intervention in Syria as soon as possible. It draws attention to the fact that it is already very late and emphasizes that each passing day relaxes Bashar al-Assad a bit more. The West is not providing the needed support for the opposition forces. They suffice by only issuing plenty of statements.
Ankara’s pressure is not only directed toward the U.S. On the 18th of this month, the same theme will be processed in Moscow. It is difficult to obtain a result, but Turkey will continue pressuring.
Meanwhile, the chaos surrounding the downing of our training plane and news full of ambiguity stemming from Washington, show that there is a peculiarity in this matter.