When Turkish people believe in judicial independence, EU will follow suit, says Turkey’s EU minister
Deniz Zeyrek MADRID
Turkish EU Minister Vollkan Bozkır. AA PhotoTurkey’s Minister for European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkır has said the judiciary should create “a sense of independence” in the hearts of Turkish citizens in order to make Europe see that Turkey’s judiciary is independent.
“If the judiciary can create a sense of independence in the hearts and conscious of the people, then the EU will also perceive it as such,” said Bozkır to a group of journalists while evaluating his recent meetings in Spain.
Commenting on the judicial process after the assassination of the Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in 2007, he said some of the government's concerns regarding courts were reflected in this case, but the "problem should be solved within the judiciary itself."
Dink was murdered by 17-year-old Ogün Samast on Jan. 19, 2007, in front of the bilingual Armenian-Turkish weekly newspaper Agos, of which Dink was the editor-in-chief. Samast is serving 22 years and 10 years of jail time, while the suspects continuously blame each other in their testimonies at the retrial of the Dink murder case.
“Turkey is going through an important phase [regarding the separation of legislative and executive powers]. We can explain this not with discourse, but with court orders,” said Bozkır.
Meanwhile, stating that the EU did "not yet know" how to respond to the attacks earlier in January in Paris that left 20 people dead, including the three jihadist attackers, Bozkır said the issue must not be made into a domestic political football.
“If the issue is looked at from the perspective of votes, if radical movements are given credence, then it is possible that the problem could grow even bigger regarding the relationship between radicalism and terror,” he added.