Platform for an Independent Judiciary in TurkeyThe extraordinary situation of violation of the independence of the judiciary in Turkey has induced all four European Associations of Judges to join together in their activities:

• The Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ),
• The European Association of Judges (EAJ),
•  Judges for Judges and
•  “Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés” (MEDEL)

And form a Platform: Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey.

Since its creation, the Platform has been working together to promote the independence of the Judiciary in Turkey and the right to freedom and a fair trial to all the Judges and Prosecutors detained.

Here we gather the main documents issued by the Platform: 

Platform Letter Council Europe - 1-8-2016-4SG1.89 MB
Platform Letter Council Europe - 1-8-2016-4PACE1.9 MB
Situation of Turkish Judiciary - Platform Report417.14 KB
Turkey Platform Conclusions163.96 KB
Statement on the eve of the EU-Turkey leaders’ meeting in Varna114.84 KB
70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its observation in Turkey160.88 KB
Criminal conviction of Mr Murat Arslan117.89 KB


Links to the other member association webpages of the Platform:

The Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ)

The European Association of Judges (EAJ), Regional Group of the International Association of Judges (IAJ)

The Judges for Judges

IustitiaAs a way of reaffirming our solidarity, our Polish member association, Iustitia, has made a video with images of detentions in Turkish courts after the coup in Turkey and with judges and prosecutors from all over Europe, reading some of the letters.

MEDELMarking the date of Giovanni Falcone’s assassination by the Mafia in 1992, MEDEL pronounced the 23rd of May as the alert day for the independence of justice in Europe. On this date, we are invited to reflect on the need for an independent and effective justice all over Europe and its importance for the safeguard of European citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

Very dark signs have arisen all over Europe in recent years, inside and outside the European Union. However, in no place as in Turkey did we witness such an orchestrated and premeditated campaign to completely destroy the independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law. Since the attempted Coup d’État of July 15th, 2016, all Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers who had constantly struggled for an independent justice have been persecuted, arrested, dismissed and have seen their property seized without any previous due process and with absolutely no guarantees of defense. 

EuronewsEuronews, the European news network who also broadcasts in Turkish language, has just released news about MEDEL's ebook of the letters in Turkish.

Here is the link:

murat.arslan2The president of the Portuguese Judges Association published an article about Murat Arslan in one of the main newspapers in Portugal, which can be found in THIS LINK

Here is the translation in English.

Murat Arslan was arrested on 19 October 2016. He is in a prison cell in Sincan, Ankara, with 16 other detainees: 8 beds and the floor to sleep, a carpet to pray, one shower, one washbasin and two toilets. 20 liters of water a day to wash clothes and body, half an hour a week for visits, though a thick dirty glass, half an hour a month to hug the wife Sevilay and the sons, Burak Emre and Yigit Eren, 16 and 13 years old, a phone call every two weeks, an hour a month to play football, and a weekly order of books and canteen food.

Platform for an Independent Judiciary in TurkeyYesterday, Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize Winner Murat Arslan, President of the Independent Turkish Judges Association YARSAV, has been convicted under charges of being member of an armed terrorist organization (namely of being active member of FETÖ/PDY) and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Mr Murat Arslan is a Turkish judge and president of the Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV). He has been arrested in October 2016 and remains since then in (pre-trial) detention.

He was awarded in October 2017 the Václav-Havel Human Rights prize by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Murat ArslanToday, January 18th, 2019, was held the last session of the trial against Murat Arslan, unlawfully accused and persecuted by the Turkish authorities and arrested since October 19th, 2016.

In today’s session, the court issued the decision, sentencing Murat Arslan to 10 years of imprisonment.

The sentence issued today by the Turkish court was not a surprise. The whole procedure before the Turkish courts was not transparent and didn’t meet the criteria of a due process of law.

Murat Arslan faces very difficult conditions of detention. He is in an overcrowded cell, with 16 other inmates: 8 sleep on the floor, 8 have a bed and there aren’t enough toilets. 

Platform for an Independent Judiciary in TurkeyMarking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Europe (of which MEDEL is a member) published a letter today, remembering the situation in Turkey and the violation of basic human rights in that country, mainly in what regards the right to a fair trial and an independent Judiciary.

Statement by the Associazione Nazionale Magistrati following the news on the death in detention of Teoman Gökçe, former member of the HSYKAssociazione Nazionale Magistrati adopted the statement following the news on the death in detention of Teoman Gökçe, former member of the HSYK.

While expressing the Italian judges’ and prosecutors’ solidarity with his family and the Turkish colleagues still in detention or removed from their positions, the ANM asks the Italian and European institutions to intervene and urge Turkey to reestablish the rule of law. You can read the statement below in Italian.

EUEveryone in Europe is aware that 150 journalists are detained in Turkey and that the majority of them have no idea what the indictments are. All judgments issued to date fundamentally contradict the rights and principles which form the (common) basis of European law.

Additionally, over 25% of all Turkish judges and prosecutors, namely more than 3,000, are also facing pre-trial detention.

murat.arslan.webMurat Arslan: "This trial is a revenge against YARSAV". Report about the first day of trial in the criminal proceedings against the chairman of YARSAV, the banned Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors. 

Murat Arslan began his career in law at the Turkish National Court of Accounts (Sayıştay). He changed paths in 2005 when he became a reporter judge for the Constitutional Court. He first became active in YARSAV, the Turkish association of judges and prosecutors founded in 2006, as a member of the board. Later he became the vice-president of the association, and was elected president in 2011. He was reelected several times and was the chairman of YARSAV until the organization was banned by an emergency decree after the attempted coup d’état on 15.07.2015. Murat Arslan had already been transferred back to the national Court of Accounts in 2015. After the attempted coup d’état, he was dismissed and from 19.10.2016 on he has been in detention pending trial.

Palazzo Quirinale (Photo: Wikipedia)Signor Presidente, le continue violazioni dei diritti umani e le ripetute epurazioni in Turchia destano grande preoccupazione.

Magistrati, giornalisti, avvocati, insegnanti, funzionari pubblici, medici, militari sono stati licenziati, in molte occasioni arrestati, e ancora si trovano in stato di detenzione in assenza di contestazioni puntuali delle condotte a loro attribuite e in uno stato di sospensione dei diritti difensivi.

Questa situazione viola i principi fondamentali dello Stato di diritto ed è stata ripetutamente segnalata da tutta la Comunità internazionale.

Association of European Administrative Judges (AEAJ) European Association of Judges (EAJ), Judges for Judges, Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL)

The assessment of the status of the justice system in Turkey clearly proves that the independence of the judiciary is abolished.

The Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey refers to its previous declarations and to the attached summary on the developments and their results.

It is urgent to return to the rule of law and to bring back to the Turkish people the fundamental rights of which they had been deprived.

The Platform urges

I.) the Turkish authorities

• to end the pressure which is directly exercised on Turkish judges and prosecutors, who are in charge of the procedures subsequent to the terrible attempt of the coup d´etat, and indirectly by influencing the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors.

• to reestablish the procedural rules, which are necessary to guarantee a fair procedure,

• to make the observation of the court hearings by international observers possible

MEDELLe glas de la démocratie ne cesse de sonner en Turquie et le référendum constitutionnel tendant à donner les pleins pouvoirs à Recep Tayyip Edogan le fera résonner une nouvelle fois.

La fin de l’état de droit démocratique en TURQUIE

Tout se passe dans un contexte de répression arbitraire allant crescendo depuis le coup d’état raté du 15 juillet pour atteindre une ampleur considérable : près de 45 000 personnes ont été arrêtées (dont 3800 magistrats, 300 avocats, 140 journalistes, des élus, notamment 12 députés, des universitaires...), plus de 150 000 ont été limogées dont un quart des magistrats en poste à la mi-juillet. Ces chiffres -pouvant varier selon les sources mais restant toujours dans le même ordre de grandeur- traduisent une volonté de faire régner la peur bien au-delà de la sphère « complotiste ».

MEDELAfter prosecutor SeyfettinYigit who allegedly committed suicide and died in prison, another Turkish Judge passed away after being purged.

We mourn for our colleague Mehmet Tosun (29) who passed away on March 6th 2017.

Like many other judges, he was dismissed and detained under severe conditions after the attempted coup with no evidence and solid reason. Although he spent his last months at hospital due to his heavy health problems, he was deprived of even his assets and personal savings, access to his personal bank accounts which were crucial for his medical treatment which obviously costed enormous amount of money for a dismissed person with no social security.

He was a rapporteur judge at the Council of State of Turkey.

He suffered from an autoimmune illness. According to his lawyer, Hüseyin Aygin, Mehmet Tosun was mistreated in jail and his state of health deteriorated.

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