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AKP hükümetinin “yeni demokratikleşme paketi” olarak sunduğu düzenlemelerle ilgili SES Türkiye internet sayfasında benim de görüşlerimi paylaştığım bir haber yayınlandı. Aşağıda metnini bulacağınzı haberi siteden okumak için buraya tıklamanız yeterli.
New democratisation package seen as a pragmatic move
The government’s abolition of specially authorised courts is met with cautious optimism by experts.
The new democratisation package approved by the Turkish parliament will abolish the specially authorised courts (OYM) that tried alleged coup plotters — a move that some observers say is an attempt to battle what the government calls “counter forces” amid a sweeping corruption probe.
The package is the latest reform of the judiciary system that has developed since open dissention broke out between the ruling party and its former supporters in the Gulen movement. Erdogan accuses Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen and his followers of orchestrating the corruption scandal that emerged in December, causing three cabinet ministers to resign and resulting in the arrests of several AKP key supporters. Gulen has many followers employed in the judiciary system.
Parliament had discontinued special courts in 2012, but a provisional article allowed courts to finalise pending coup plot cases such as Ergenekon, Sledgehammer, Odatv and Poyrazkoy.
The latest move, however, will clear the way for hundreds of military officers jailed for plotting coups to be retried as their case files will be passed to regular criminal courts.
Serkan Koybasi, a constitutional law expert and assistant professor at Bahcesehir University, said abolishing specially authorised courts (OYMs) without the annulment of the Prevention of Terrorism Act means that ordinary courts will become OYMs.
Koybasi told SES Türkiye that the government has for years resisted calls to abolish the OYMs.
“They did it once the courts started to work against Erdogan and his allies. Therefore, I think the latest step is a pragmatic move of Erdogan, not democratic,” Koybasi said.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc disagreed, and said that democratisation is a goal for the AKP and Turkey.
“We have a claim. There is more democracy, freedom and human rights in Turkey’s future,” he told reporters during his recent trip to London.
The new package also reduces the maximum pre-trial detention period to five years. Calling it “a positive step,” Koybasi said there are some detainees who have been in jail pending conviction for more than five years and the government is rejecting their demand to reduce the maximum detention period, which is also a violation of European Convention of Human Rights.
The approval of the new democratisation package came a few days after the approval of another controversial bill, which would restructure the HSYK (Supreme Boards of Judges and Prosecutors) by giving more control to the government over the judicial body.
“It shows that the package called ‘new democratisation’ is only a means to escape from judicial control, and in the big picture Turkey is going backward on the democracy path,” Koybasi said.
Ceren Sozeri from Istanbul Galatasaray University agreed.
“Neither the new democratisation package, nor the recent amendments to the internet law and to the judiciary system will make Turkey more democratic,” she told SES Türkiye.
Erdogan said with the abolishment of eight special courts, 133 existing heavy penal courts would be the sole judicial bodies to deal serious crimes.
“We have surely decided to abolish specially authorised courts. Likewise, abolishing the anti-terror law by transferring some of its articles to the Penal Code is in our aims,” Erdogan told reporters.
Observers also said Erdogan’s move to abolish OYMs may help attract secular support ahead of the local elections.
“The previous democratisation package was announced on September 30th, roughly two weeks before the EU published its progress report. Now the new package is right before the local elections, so we have democratisation packages ahead of important dates,” Ekrem Eddy Guzeldere, an Istanbul-based analyst at the European Stability Initiative, told SES Türkiye.
How do you think the new democratisation package will affect Turkey’s EU membership bid? Share your thoughts in the comments area.