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Turkey’s Illiberal Judiciary: Cases and Decisions

Turkey is moving toward achieving an ever-greater level of democracy by removing the remnants of restrictive and paternalistic administrative structures. The judiciary in Turkey has been one of the most influential instruments of state power in maintaining these structures. In the wake of the recently passed constitutional amendments, the question of whether the current government is trying to create a docile judiciary for its political purposes has been widely circulated. However, such questioning misses one of the most crucial motivators of the much needed reform package, i.e., the undemocratic record of the Turkish judiciary. The Turkish judiciary has traditionally considered itself as one of the guardians of the Turkish republic alongside the military. It has consistently delivered undemocratic decisions in the name of protecting the state. This article focuses on many examples of restrictive and paternalistic judiciary decisions in order to highlight the judiciary’s undemocratic role in the Turkish political system.

Turkey s Illiberal Judiciary Cases and Decisions
When it comes to crimes committed by the security forces, the judiciary bends the law, in its favor, as much as possible, and in some cases ignores it completely to protect these officials.
 

Turkey is undergoing a very important transformation. Topics, which have been considered taboo during the Republican era, are now being publicly debated. Demands for solutions to the accumulated problems of the past decades are on the rise. These demands are impacting the political arena and Turkey is moving away from a restrictive and paternalistic administrative model, and taking crucial steps towards becoming a democratic society guaranteeing human rights and freedoms.

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