Can Turkey correct human rights record with new justice reform strategy?
Source:al Monitor Date:08Jun2019
To me, Erdogan’s new Judicial Reform Strategy is a hope of light in a country marred by gross abuses of due process and law and order since the 2016 coup attemtp. I’ve tried to find a blanced analysis of the road map, but failed so far. All the sources I consulted refer to Erdogan’s record of forgetting promises when convenient, ignoring the possibility that this time it may be different. At the end I chose an article by Orhan Kemal Cengiz, who at least gives space to optimists. The second source is comprehensive evaluation of the proposed reforms by a respected Turkish legal scholar.
Orhan Kemal Cengiz:
This core deficiency (admittign to past mistakes) gives rise to doubts that the document will have any serious effects on the ground or create real change in Turkey.
When reading the European Commission’s progress report on Turkey, one encounters a different reality. “Allegations of torture and ill treatment remain a serious concern,” the report reads. “The handling of complaints of torture and ill treatment is also reported to be ineffective, and allegedly entails a risk of reprisal.”
The European report states that in terms of freedom of expression, “serious backsliding continued.” It continues that “the high number of arrests of journalists — over 160 journalists remain in prison — is of very serious concern.”
Questions remain: Can a country solve its problems without first acknowledging them? If we accept, as Keskin suggests, that we live in a wonderland, then how can we change our reality?