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Turkey: Defendants to Be Permitted to Use Mother Tongue in Court Statements

(Jan. 25, 2013) The Grand National Assembly (Turkey’s parliament) adopted a law on January 23, 2013, which, among other stipulations, allows suspects to use their native languages in court when giving defense statements. The controversial provision, which created a brawl among legislators of different parties, will bring to an end a long campaign by Kurdish […]

Turkey; United Nations: Criticism of Anti-Terrorism Laws

(Nov. 8, 2012) On November 1, 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) – a body of 18 independent experts responsible for monitoring implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (in force on Mar. 23, 1976, Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website) by its State parties […]

Turkey: Individual Access to Constitutional Court

(Oct. 12, 2012) On September 24, 2012, the day that new provisions allowing access by individuals to Turkey’s Constitutional Court came into effect, seven persons filed petitions with the Court. The aim of the newly applicable measures, which comprise articles 45 to 51 of the Law on the Establishment and Rules of Procedure of the […]

Turkey: Constitutional Reform Underway

(Aug. 9, 2012) Turkey's Constitutional Reconciliation Commission reconvened on August 1, 2012, to resume its preparation of a new constitution for the country. The parliamentary body will reportedly start to discuss some articles that have given rise to heated debate, including those on the definition of citizenship and on whether citizens have the right to […]

Turkey: Tobacco Control Law Tightened

(July 25, 2012) On July 4, 2012, the Turkish Parliament (the Grand National Assembly, Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi, or TBMM), passed amendments to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Hazards of Tobacco Products (Tütün Ürünlerinin Zararlarinin Önlenmesi ve Kontrolü Hakkinda Kanun, Law No. 4207). One amendment bans brand stretching – “the application of […]

Turkey: Law Restricting Caesarean Births

(July 17, 2012) Turkey's Parliament passed a new law on July 4, 2012, to limit births by Cesarean section to cases of medical necessity. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had declared his opposition to C-section births in May and referred to abortion as a crime; his remarks reportedly were the impetus for the adoption of […]

Turkey: Controversial Courts to Be Abolished

(July 3, 2012) On June 27, 2012, it was reported that Turkey's ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is planning to propose reform of the court system, including abolition of the special authority courts now used to try coup and terrorism cases. The move has the support of the country's Prime Minister, Tayyip […]

Turkey: Defense Lawyers Boycott Major Trial

(June 19, 2012) On June 15, 2012, defense lawyers in Turkey boycotted a high profile trial in protest over a judicial ruling in a case that began with press revelations in 2010. It involves hundreds of military officers charged with plotting an anti-government coup in 2003. The lawyers in the trial were unhappy with the […]

Turkey: Controversial Education Reform Legislation Passed

(Apr. 17, 2012) The Grand National Assembly (GNA, Turkey's parliament) passed an education reform bill on March 30, 2012, extending the length of compulsory education from eight years to twelve. Primary education covers children from six to fourteen years of age (in two tiers); four-year secondary education will now also be mandatory. (Education Reform Bill […]