Turkey, which has experienced acts of terrorism and a military coup attempt that have left hundreds of people dead in the last four years, is rapidly becoming normal. It is healing its wounds of the economy, judiciary and politics during this painful process. The stability that has arisen following the last local elections, in which the opposition won the mayoralty of three major cities of Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, is also a big advantage for Turkey. This is because the country will not have elections in the next four years. This allows politics to focus on structural problems rather than on populist actions. One of the key issues on the country's agenda these days is judicial reform. This is because the distressed process we have left behind has damaged society's sense of justice the most.
The fact that elements of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which attempted to stage a military coup on July 15, in the judiciary could not be completely purged was a problem on its own.
Long detentions and some local courts' focus on the reflex to protect the system also increased the damage.
The package, drafted by the Ministry of Justice and presented to opposition parties as well as to nongovernmental organizations, aims to expand freedoms. The vision of a "secure and accessible justice system" has been put forward as a first step.
Some of the topics in the judicial reform coming to Parliament are:
The decisions of the judiciary that touch on the freedom of expression will be opened to the supervision of the Court of Appeals and the unity of implementation will be ensured.
Regarding the internet access ban, gradual closure will be introduced and access to the relevant page containing criminal elements will be blocked first, instead of closing the website completely.
The judiciary will be accelerated by bringing efficiency to the procedures such as peacemaking and mediation.
Regulation will be made to prevent lengthy detention decisions made by the judiciary.
Forensic interview rooms and child monitoring centers will be re-organized to strengthen victim's rights.
Committees will be formed to more rigorously address objections to investigations and prosecutions during the "state of emergency."
The package, which also provides safeguards for judges, prosecutors and lawyers, is supported by professional organizations such as the Bar Association. The opposition has still not offered its concrete support for the package, despite social pressure.
However, it is not hard to predict that they will lower their guard as the talks in Parliament progress. This is because the reflexes of the Turkish people, who have recently been through a major trauma and therefore demand security, are changing with normalization. Now the public expects more freedom.
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