Monthly Archives: March 2017

Venice Commission: Proposed constitutional amendments “dangerous step backwards” for democracy

110th PLENARY – Turkey – Proposed constitutional amendments “dangerous step backwards” for democracy

10/03/2017 (see the original here)

Venice – The 110th plenary of the Venice Commission has just adopted its Opinion on the constitutional amendments submitted to a national referendum on 16 April 2017. This opinion had been requested by the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.

First of all, the Commission warns against a “one-person regime” in Turkey in its definitive, as discussed and adopted in plenary, text of the opinion.

The Commission notes that by removing necessary checks and balances, the amendments would not follow the model of a democratic presidential system based on the separation of powers, and instead would risk degeneration into an authoritarian presidential system.

Conclusions of the opinion include the following:

• letting the new President exercise executive power alone, with unsupervised authority to appoint and dismiss ministers, and to appoint and dismiss all high officials on the basis of criteria determined by him or her alone;
• allowing the President to be a member and even the leader of his or her political party, that would give him or her undue influence over the legislature;
• giving the President the power to dissolve parliament on any grounds whatsoever, which is fundamentally alien to democratic presidential systems
• further weakening the already inadequate system of judicial oversight of the executive.
• further weakening the independence of the judiciary.

In addition, the opinion raises serious procedural concerns. For example, Turkey’s parliament approved the amendments to be put to referendum, when several deputies from the second largest opposition party were in jail. The vote for approving the amendments was cast in breach of secret ballot, casting doubt on the genuine nature of support for reform and on the personal nature of the deputies’ vote.

Furthermore, the current state of emergency does not provide the proper democratic setting for a vote as important as a constitutional referendum, the experts concluded.
Every state has the right to choose its own political system, be it presidential or parliamentary or mixed, but this right is not unconditional.

The text of this opinion, as fully adopted, will be made available on Monday 13 March. Two other opinions on Turkey, (1) Turkey’s emergency decree laws and their relation to media freedom and (2) The duties, competences and functioning of the criminal peace judgeships, should also be made available early next week.

Press contact
Panos Kakaviatos, Spokesperson/Media officer,
Tel. +33 3 90 21 50 27; Mob. +33 6 98 37 64 04


“They should be put into prisons first,” they said.

Even the name of the prison is creepy … There are about 200K detainees and convicts in prisons. The detainees’ first request is a trial without arrest. If there is no trial without arrest, preparing the indictment about them as soon as possible is their priority. For example, 129 days have passed since the arrest of the authors and administrators of the Cumhuriyet daily newspaper. Two professions in the world are directly related to human life. One is a physician and the other is a judge … The duty of physician is to put the diagnosis of the patient, to treat and to rehabilitate them. It is the duty of a judge to make the person who comes in front of him, if s/he is guilty, do the necessary thing and earn him/her on behalf of community as soon as possible.


Previous term MHP MP Özcan Yeniçeri frequently told in his speeches that “judges and prosecutor candidates should stay in prison for at least one month during the internship period”. He was not satisfied with that and also gave a law proposal. Thus he aimed to be understood what it means to be in prison by those who send suspects in front of a judge and who arrests them and their circumstances. One of many who lived prosecutors sending for arrest, the judges’ arrests and their reflection on human life, is one of the world-renowned scientists raised by Turkey, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Haberal. I listened his proposal from the period in which he was imprisoned, after his release too. He also said: “I believe that if there are rehabilitation centers, the prisons should also be a judicial rehabilitation and training centers. Let us not forget that if we find the one who has the most serious crime im front of us, s/he is also a humanbeing. During the Ottoman period, the prisons were ‘correctional facilities’. Now, the prisons are ‘solitary confinements’.

Haberal, in our conversation, “The judge or prosecutor will remember that, if a part of internship is done in prison, they will see the conditions and it should not be easy to make a decision about arrest. The decision they make is directly related to human life. They will knowmthat the whole life of that person is changing. I, as a physician, put the person who came face to face. The judge must think so. All the target must be collecting people, not isolation. ”

“If the judge does the internship in prison, Haberal will look at the conditions and remember that it is not easy for a person to make an arrest warrant. The decision they make is directly related to human life. I will say that the whole life of that person is changing. I, as a physician, put myself in the place of the man who comes in front of me A judge must think so. The whole aim must be earning people [to society], not isolation.”


Those proposals were not accepted, but today, one in four judges in our country are under arrest for allegedly being linked to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO). No doubt the Supreme Judiciary will decide whether or not they are guilty. However, no one accepts the accusations against them. The roof indictment concerning the July 15 coup d’etat was accepted by the court, but there is no indictment prepared for judges and prosecutors yet. Moreover, judges and prosecutors’ detention are very different from the others. Let us also read Prosecutor Yiğit Kaçar’s sharings, who conducted important smuggling investigations during the period of the Hopa Public Prosecutor’s Office, about the prison conditions: “Six months have passed in prison. I have faced many things that have troubled me in this life. But I think this is the most difficult one. This test is really tough. I am struggling not to lose my soul and body health between the walls. Of course the prison is difficult for everyone but the conditions for us are the most severe …


“We are deprived of some rights, even those that have who have been convicted of crimes such as murder, extortion, rape. While they can go to exercise, even stepping out of our cell for us is forbidden. I never saw here the sun, the earth, the green. While we hear their (our familys) voices every two weeks, they (other detainees and convicts) can talk on the phone with their loved ones every week. We can only hug [meant visiting day] our loved ones once every two months as they can be once a month.

It’s a tiny space, a toilet door torn from the cove, and a life we ​​try to maintain in front of it. It’s so stuffy that I sometimes feel like drowning at night. It is very difficult to get out of here without losing your mental health. If they will not let us go again, I have no objection, but will they tell us who will benefit from having mental health impairment if they will release us someday? I have personally observed that the prisons have absolutely no benefit for the people in this country. The prime purpose of the prisons should be directed at the correction, rehabilitation, is not it?”

The files of judges and prosecutors are circulating from city to city. It is not clear who will be tried where. Secret witnesses, what the confessions told by them, will only be learned in the indictment stage. We wish the facts to emerge as soon as possible.


NOT WORTH A TOSS: the information site of the Turkish MoJ


The Turkish Ministry of Justice has set up an “information website”. It’s nicely done, with pleasant coloring and appealing presentation.

It could whet the site-visitors’ appetite to read the information on the site. The verb “could” is chosen here on purpose: because one doesn’t know wether this is real information on that site or if it’s just a load of disinformation.

You’re sceptical? Have a look yourself:

7th of March 20117, TR724 published the following news: DISMISSED JUDGE OF COUNCIL OF STATE PASSED AWAY. It was claimed that the former dismissed rapporteur judge at the Council of State, Mehmet Tosun, passed away and was buried today.

And what does the website of the Turkish Ministry of Justice make out of this event? They write (last visited 09/03/2017; if you can’t find it there anymore, here is a copy):

“Allegations over former judge M.T.’s death in prison are all baseless 08.03.2017

It is deemed necessary to make the following public release in order to inform the public correctly regarding the news published in certain media organs that “M.T.  a 29 year old  rapporteur judge of the Council of State … died in prison.”

Following the examination made;

A judge named M.T. is detained in Eskişehir H Type Closed Penal Execution Institution, within the scope of FETO/PDY investigations. The relevant judge is alive now. For this reason, the news indicating that Judge M.T. died in the penal execution institution is baseless.

Respectfully announced to the public.”

Well, the initials of Mehmet Tosun are indeed M.T. But – and you will not be too surprised – this alone doesn’t mean that the name of the judge M.T, detained in Eskişehir H Type Closed Penal Execution Institution, is necessarily “Mehmet Tosun”, right? This judge’s name could be for instance Mehmet Tunç or Mine Taşkın or Murat Türk or … [you can chose yourself, there are lots of judges and prosecutors with the initials M.T. on the official list of people to be dismissed or/and detained].

But – your plea might be – what if the name of this judge, detained in Eskişehir H Type Closed Penal Execution Institution, who has the initials M.T is really Mehmet Tosun?

Yeah, what then?

Let us have another look at this ominous list:

You know what, there are TWO Mehmet Tosun on that list:





İdare Mah. Üyesi





Danıştay Tetkik Hâkimi

And guess what:

We don’t know anything about the situation of Mehmet Tosun, 1290 – 97693, Idare Mah.Üyesi.

But what we definitely know is that Mehmet Tosun, 2493 – 151133, Danistay Tetkik Hakimi, has passed away. And we know that he was detained regardless of his medical condition and didn’t get the required medical treatment.

Well, there’s one point where the website of the Turkish Ministry of Justice is indeed right: Mehmet Tosun didn’t die in prison (by the way only: at least TR724 didn’t claim that Judge Tosun died in prison; but it sounds good to deny such a [not made] claim anyhow, doesn’t it?) : he was released and died “only” afterwards.

What do you think ?


(Sender known to blog editor)

Dear Sir

I would like to raise one of the human violations in Turkey. Yesterday theTurkish judiciary lost one of its members, Mehmet Tosun, a 29 years old judge, a new husband and an innocent individual. He was quite young professional eager to devote himself to justice. He got sick in 2014, treated 2 years in Universty hospital, and struggle with illness. Virus destroyed his immune system, which he lost 25 kg during treatment. However, he never gave up. After july 15, he was purged and detained. Then he was released after detention because of his health reason. But he was brutally treated during police detention, which caused a lot of trauma him, and worsen his health. He was dismissed by the High Council of Judges decision without any evidence, labelled as terrorist.

In additon, his social health insurance cancelled. His accounts were blocked and assets were seized. Although he needs expensive treatment with specialist doctor, he was not be able to get proper treatment after that.

After July 15, we have withenessed so many unlawful actions, and I thought what can be done beyond, and I have seen later. Pregnant women, 80 years old senior citizen and many others jailed. I have seen a mother, whose husband jailed, and she was detained during prison visits with her disabled kids. Former Chief Public Prosecutor of capital Ankara, İbrahim Ethem Kuriş, who is cancer, and still in jail.

Because Mehmet was dismissed, detained, taken under judicial control, his assets seized, his salary and health insurance were cancelled; I still strongly believe that HSYK and judiciary controlled by Erdogan Regime have responsible for an innocent civilian, judge Mehmet Tosun death.

Best regards,

Mail from Turkey: #iamMehmetTOSUN #MehmetTOSUNum

(Sender known to blog editor)

Dear All,

I am writing this e-mail to you in tears.

Unfortunately we lost an administrative judge Mehmet Tosun in Sincan Prison today.

He was only 29. He was arrested after the coup and also was fired by HSYK.

The Court knew that Mehmet Tosun has a genetic disease related to his immune system. So that he had to live in hygienic conditions not only for his body but also his soul.

The Court did not accept his disease to be released conditionally.

Today, Turkish authorities including judiciary killed a man, a husband, a judge and a colleague.

Nobody talked about Mehmet Tosun in Turkey today.

The only news appeared is this:

Please make our voice heard to the world:

I am Mehmet Tosun !

Ich bin Mehmet Tosun !

Je suis Mehmet Tosun !


(Author known to blog editor, kept secret for security reasons)

İhsan Eliaçik, one of the main actors in Gezi protests and well known theoligian: “Today, many lawsuits have been brought against me. I was sentenced to pay two thousand tl on charge of insulting to President of the Republic. In last days, the lawsuits have been filed against me over terror charges. We are opposition to ruling government for 20 years and we have been subjected to persecution all the time in this period. However, this period is worse than the era of 28 February. In that period, at least there were some judges and prosecutors performing their duty properly and delivering justice. Nowadays, there are prosecutors, who do not know even how to prepare the indictments. So, if you are arrested, you can not be released in 6 months and you are held under arrest over nonsence accusations. As of today, fourty thousand persons have been arrested as it was not so in 28 February. I stayed in Mamak prison for one year in era of 12 September. The persecution of today has passed that of 12 September. So much victimization did not happen in that time. Because, today, upon an unknown denouncement, the individuals are being arrested without interrogation and left unemployed. On the other hand, in case of expressing these unlawfulness, you are accused of being a member of FETÖ. The victims from several walk of life can establish the imagined Turkey again in a way coming together.

Related link:,391192


(Author known to blog editor, kept secret for security reasons)

A few hours after 15th July coup attempt, 2745 judges and prosecutors were suspended and detention warrants were issued for them althogh even the names of the coup plotter soldiers were not identified yet.

As of today, nearly 4000 judges and prosecutors were dismissed, 3000 of them were arrested, 680 of them have been held in solitary confinement in prison cells to force them for confession although deputy president of Judicial Council (HSYK) Mehmet YILMAZ admits there is no evidence of having involvement in the coup attempt for judges.

More than 7,5 months passed but no indictments have been prepared about the arrested judges and prosecutors yet.Why are prosecutors who issued arrest warrant about thousands of judges in a few hours after coup attempt waiting for?

it is easy one to answer. Because, there is no enough evidence but there are lots of procedural shortcomings regarding investigation rules of judges which is provided in Constitution. Howewer, Constitutional Court is not likely to be domestic remedy because it has not examined even one of thousands of judges’ applications appealed against unfair arrests for 7 months yet.

ECtHR rejected (arrested Judge) Mercan v. Turkey application for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies referring (arres
>ted journalist, now in exile in Germany) Can Dundar’s release by Constitutional Court, but ECtH should consider 2 members (justices) of Constutional Court who voted to release Dundar were arrested.

To sum up, it is time for #ECtHR to finish unfair arrests in Turkey against judges, members of the parliament, journalists etc. to fullfil its duty in the name of human rights.



My name is Ahmet. I am a person who lives a modest life.

I went to chat with a friend of mine who was working in Social Assistance because I was really frustrated recently. When I was having tea, my friend said to me: “Ahmet, nothing so bad but might have been worse, be grateful” what was it, what happened ? I said.

He told me about an incident that he faced 3 days ago:

A woman recently came for help to organization. She was a little shy and embarrassed, with a baby in her hand and a child with her 2-3 years old.

He said, “Sir, I would not come here if I had been able to cope, but I want my state to extend a helping hand, not for myself, but for the sake of my baby”

I said, “sister please tell me about your situation”

Poor woman shyly started to tell “I was a nurse and I had to leave from work with an unpaid leave because I was a little child and I had a new birth because I have no acquaintances and relatives here to look after my children and we are here with my newly appointed husband. I asked what her husband was doing.

He lifted her eyes from the ground and looked into my eyes and said, “My husband was a judge.”

I hesitated a little “So why did you come here and where did you come from?” I said.

The woman drew a sigh and said, “My husband is paying the price of doing his job with his honor.” She shed tears like waterfall, continued. “We lived in Istanbul and my husband was a son of a big family, he has 6 siblings and because his family did not have the financial means, he was supporting his siblings for their education and cared costs … When he was working on a case he determined a big company’s unlawfulness, after his decision he paid the price of doing his job with honor” she said. “One morning my husband found out that he was appointed here, and that’s how it all began, and then unfortunately, after 15th July coup attempt to our nation, my husband was arrested, our house was seaeched as if my husband was a terrorist or he had any relation to a terrorist organization. We have heard insults in our own homes as people who have committed themselves to the law anda justice for years. I stayed with two kids. I sold my goods at home for a while. But I cannot do it anymore, as people who served in honor of the state, I came to ask for help from our state again. I can not even breastfead my baby because the milk is sour now because of these troubles. I did not have the money, I can not get food or diapers for my baby. This place is not my hometown where I can not afford to meet the needs of my children and the house,” she said.

I was hurt in the inside, but I had to swallow, and I said “sister fill these papers and make your application.”

I excitedly asked my friend. “What happened? Did the answer come for her application?

My friend sadly looked ahead and, “Unfortunately, Ahmet, you know the circumstances, the answer was negative!” He said…