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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 […]

Turkey: Landmark Trial of 1980 Military Coup Leaders Begins

(Apr. 12, 2012) Two retired generals have been placed on trial for their role in the September 12, 1980, coup d'etat in Turkey, which imposed military rule on the country for three years and reportedly saw 50 people executed and 500,000 arrested. The Ankara 12th High Criminal Court began proceedings on April 4, 2012, having […]

Turkey: Parliament Adopts Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence

(Mar. 15, 2012) Turkey's Parliament (the General Assembly) passed a law on March 8, 2012, notably on International Women's Day, designed to prevent violence against women. In the words of the lawyer and women's rights activist Nazan Moroglu, passage of the Law “is a historic step that will better protect women regardless of their relationship […]

Turkey: Cases Before European Court of Human Rights on Lengthy Detentions to Be Addressed

(Mar. 6, 2012) Turkey's Minister of Justice, Sadullah Ergin, announced on March 1, 2012, that the government would establish a special commission to handle cases filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR or ECtHR) on lengthy periods of detention and trial in Turkey, based on a compromised reached with the ECHR. (Turkey to […]

European Union; Turkey: 2011 Progress Report on Turkey’s Accession

(Nov. 16, 2011) On October 12, 2011, the European Commission published its annual overview of the enlargement policy and the progress made by candidate countries in their efforts to join the European Union. The Report on Turkey is composed of 115 pages and covers the period 2010-2011 (hereinafter the Report). (Turkey 2011 Progress Report, Accompanying […]

Turkey: Minority Religious Congregation Property to Be Returned Under Historic Measure

(Sept. 6, 2011) An omnibus decree published in Turkey's official gazette, RESMÎ GAZETE, on August 27, 2011, contains an historic article mandating the return of properties, which had been forcibly taken over by the state, to their minority, non-Muslim religious foundation owners. The new provision (article 17 of the decree) is to be included as […]

Turkey: Proposed New Canal May Have Impact on Major Shipping Treaty

(May 27, 2011) On April 27, 2011, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey announced a plan to relieve dangerously heavy tanker traffic in the Bosphorus Strait by creating a man-made canal through western Istanbul to serve as a new shipping route between the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. According to news reports, the […]

Turkey: Certain Words Banned from Domain Names

(May 10, 2011) On April 28, 2011, Turkey’s Telecommunications Directorate (Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı, or TİB), under the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, sent a list of 138 Turkish and English words to web-hosting companies, banning their use in domain names on the Turkish Internet. Among the banned English words are: “beat,” “escort,” “homemade,” “hot,” “nubile,” […]

Turkey: Alleged Members of Revolutionary Headquarters Indicted on Terrorist Charges

(Mar. 3, 2011) It was reported on February 5, 2011, that Istanbul's 12th High Criminal Court has accepted an indictment against 22 persons suspected of being linked to the leftist terrorist organization the Revolutionary Headquarters (RH). The group reportedly carried out a deadly shootout in April 2009 in Istanbul that claimed the lives of a […]