Situation in Turkey

SSM letter to the Turkish Judicial Academy

Scuola Superiore della Magistratura (Photo: Miss Seda Arslan, the Scuola Superiore della Magistratura (hereinafter SSM) has received the invitation sent by the Turkish Judicial Academy for the participation in the "workshop program of Comparative Law Studies on Judicial Training" planned for the second half of November in Turkey.

The SSM board of Directors, in its meeting held on 6 September 2016, has unanimously decided to reject the invitation.

On July 21, 2016, the SSM joined the statement issued the day before by the Italian Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, that expressed indignation and concern because of the arrest and dismissal of more than 2700 Turkish judges and prosecutors following the post-coup crackdown. It urged the Turkish Authorities to respect judicial independence, fair trial and fundamental rights and exhorted them to comply with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. At the same time, the Italian Judicial Council decided to suspend every form of cooperation with the Turkish Judicial Council.

Since then, according to press headlines, the situation has not changed in Turkey. More than 1600 judges and prosecutors are still detained, together with professors, journalists and public employees; thousands were dismissed from the profession.

The SSM considers the respect for the rule of law and the fair trial principle as a pre-condition for the cooperation with foreign judicial institutions. The current Turkish political situation does not guarantee that the fundamental values enshrined in the Italian Constitution are fully protected.

Prof. Gaetano Silvestri
Presidente della Scuola Superiore della Magistratura

Rome, 6 September 2016.

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