Turkey’s judicial reform plan aims to strengthen democracy, protect freedoms: Minister

Turkey’s judicial reform plan aims to strengthen democracy, protect freedoms: Minister

Turkey’s judicial reform plan aims to strengthen democracy, protect freedoms: Minister

The new Judicial Reform Strategy Document aims to protect Turkey’s citizens while strengthening democracy and protecting rights and freedoms, the country’s justice minister said on Sept. 6.

Turkey is on course to implement the Judicial Reform Strategy Document, a plan unveiled on May 30 to improve the working of the nation’s judiciary.

“This document is not a one-time package. It consists of a reform period of five years. These are regulations that requisite law enforcement or decrees. This judicial reform document belongs to all 82 million [citizens], not the [ruling] Justice and Development Party [AKP],” Abdulhamit Gül told reporters at a press conference in the capital Ankara.

“The judiciary cannot belong to anyone. It cannot be handed over to any circle or organized structure,” he said. No citizen should doubt the reliability of the judiciary, he stressed.

Gül added that some aspects of the judicial reform might see some alterations in accordance with the parliament’s will. “We have invited everyone who want to have a say in this to our table.”

“We prepared this document with the approach ‘accessible and reliable justice.’ The main component of this document is to protect our people and strengthen democracy,” he said.

New works will also commence on human rights, according to the minister.

“It is our aim to establish an environment where everyone feels confident and secure, regardless of their ethnicity, ideas, social status or age,” he said.

The document was prepared within the context of European Union standards, the minister conveyed. “We had a lot of good reactions,” he added.

With the document, Turkey will take “concrete steps” to advance rights and freedoms, Gül said.

“The first package of the judicial reform includes regulations that provide more guarantee to freedom of expression and thought,” he said.

The package will also introduce regulations that will prevent arbitrariness in arrests, he added.

“We do not accept implementations that regard arrests as execution, because arrestment is an exceptional conduct, what really matters is freedom,” Gül said.

Regarding the recent nationwide outrage on increasing number of femicides, the justice minister said Turkey has zero tolerance on violence against women.

“If it will prevent the violence against women or children or the killings, we will change the constitution, let alone the law,” he said.

“We commemorate women who lost their lives, especially Emine Bulut. We vehemently condemn and refuse violence against women and children,” he added.

Emine Bulut was brutally murdered by her ex-husband, who slit her throat in a café before the eyes of her 10-year-old daughter. The video of the attack was published online, stirring nationwide outrage. Video footage showed Bulut’s daughter screaming in tears, saying “Mum, don’t die.” Bulut was heard responding, “I don’t want to die.” A trial of Bulut’s murder case will take place on Oct. 9 and 60 lawyers will follow the case.

The common problem of countries all over the globe is violence against women, Gül said.

“We have zero tolerance toward these incidents,” he added.

Gül also underlined that many important regulations have been made regarding the issue.