The prospect of EU membership prompted the introduction of important constitutional and legal reforms that significantly strengthened the judicial system in Turkey. However, serious deficiencies remained.
The judiciary remained subject to the potential influence of the political will of the Ministry of Justice, and was therefore not truly independent. The equal status of judges and public prosecutors continued to cast a shadow over the impartiality of the judiciary. Allegations of judicial corruption persisted. Access to legal representation remained problematic in the southeast, and despite the government’s declared zero tolerance policy on torture, official impunity persisted. Lawyers continued to face criminal prosecutions for activities carried out in the exercise of their professional duties. Public prosecutors continued to face restrictions on their ability to investigate resolutely and to prosecute suspected criminal offences.
Turkey-Attacks on Justice 2005-Publications-2008 (full text, PDF)Attacks on Justice 2005Publications