Turkey - annual report 2017

Legal Policy Situation

From 2007 to 2013, the IRZ conducted manifold activities in cooperation with Turkey, whether within the framework of EU Twinning projects, in connection with the Turkish Judicial Reform Strategy of 2009, the continuation and intensification of EU accession negotiations by the opening of numerous accession chapters or in the course of different study trips to Germany by Turkish specialists. After the Gezi Park protests in 2013 and the ensuing domestic disputes, cooperation, however, became increasingly more difficult.

Numerous laws were passed subsequently, which, for example, resulted in restrictions on the independence of the judiciary, which in turn led to international protests and warnings against Turkey. After the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016, the Turkish government has declared a state of emergency, which since then has been extended repeatedly and is continuing beyond the reporting period. In this context, many decrees have been enacted, that put into operation far reaching measures in all sectors of the country, including massive layoffs and arrests within the civil service. The latest EU country report of 11/2016 on Turkey’s development clearly outlines the steps taken backwards in the development of the rule of law.

Outlook

Against the backdrop outlined above, it was impossible to continue cooperating with Turkey in the year under review. Meanwhile, the situation is characterised by considerations, both at German national and at European level, as to how far further expert-level cooperation may be provided. Further, it remains to be seen how far a resumption of cooperation will be feasible in 2018.