Turkey - annual report 2018

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

The IRZ was engaged in many different activities with Turkish partners from 2007 to 2013. The cooperation included EU Twinning Projects in connection with the Turkish judicial reform strategy of 2009, as well as the continuation and intensification of EU accession negotiations. There were also a number of study trips to Germany by Turkish partners. But the cooperation became increasingly difficult following the Gezi Park protests of 2013 and the associated internal conflicts.

As a result, numerous laws were passed that led to restrictions in the independence of the judiciary and other aspects, which in turn precipitated international protests. Following the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency, which remained in force until the presidential and parliamentary elections that were held simultaneously in summer 2018. As part of the state of emergency, many decrees were enacted that, among other things, significantly curtailed the rights of defendants, which again provoked international criticism. The state of emergency also led to a wave of dismissals and incarcerations, especially within the judiciary. The EU Country Report of 2018 clearly states the setbacks in development of the rule of law in Turkey as well.

Outlook

Given the current situation as outlined above, it has not been possible to continue cooperation with Turkey in the reporting year. The current situation is dominated, both at federal policy level and at European level, by considerations as to how the existing dialogue can be resumed.