Joint declaration of the judges' and prosecutors' associations of SerbiaIt is with great concern that Judges’ Association of Serbia and Association of Public Prosecutors and Deputy Public Prosecutors of Serbia follow the situation of their Turkish colleagues, judges and public prosecutors, after the attempted military coup in Turkey.

The Turkish judiciary has, in recent years, faced numerous challenges, as international professional associations MEDEL and IAJ/EAJ, as well as Consultative Council of European Judges, warned in their numerous addresses to the European institutions, though, unfortunately, in vain. Judges and public prosecutors in Turkey, who performed their functions conscientiously and equally towards everyone, endured  pressures  and  threats, were exposed against their will to transfers  (9.000 of them, out of the total of 15.000 in Turkey, during the period of less than two years, were reallocated) to locations several thousands of kilometres away, were also subjected to unjustifiable dismissals  and,  since 2014, even to arrests.

Commisioner for Human Rights Nils MuižnieksIt is with profound concern that I examined the first decree with the force of law (“Kanun Hükmünde Kararname”, KHK/667) adopted within the framework of the state of emergency declared in Turkey last week.

I note that Turkey has submitted a formal notice of derogation to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as foreseen under Article 15 of the Convention. As I expressed in a statement last week, I have no sympathy for the coup plotters. I think that those who actively plotted to overthrow democracy must be punished. I am also not putting into question Turkey’s right to declare a state of emergency, nor to derogate from the ECHR. But I must stress that, as recalled by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, such derogations are not limitless: the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) remains the ultimate authority to determine whether measures taken during the state of emergency are in conformity with the ECHR. One of the criteria used by the Court in this context is whether the measures derogating from the ECHR are taken only to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation.

Le communiqué des organisations françaises de magistrats et d'avocatsArticle 6 de la Convention Européenne des Droits de l'Homme : «Toute personne a droit à ce que sa cause soit entendue équitablement, publiquement et dans un délai raisonnable, par un tribunal indépendant et impartial (...)». Article 16 de la Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen : « Toute Société dans laquelle la garantie des Droits n'est pas assurée, ni la séparation des Pouvoirs déterminée, n'a point de Constitution».

2 745 juges et procureurs turcs ont été démis de leurs fonctions par le Haut Conseil des Juges et Procureurs (HCJP) le lendemain même de la tentative de coup d’État du 15 juillet 2016. Nombre d'entre eux ont été emprisonnés de manière arbitraire avec leur famille. Aucune explication ne leur a été fournie sur les raisons de cette éviction et aucun droit de se défendre ne leur a même été reconnu.

IALANAIn February 2016 the Turkish Constitutional Court revoked the pre-trial imprisonment imposed upon two journalists who had uncovered support provided by Turkish au- thorities to militant Islamists in Syria. In response, the Turkish President Erdogan threatened the judges: "I don't need to accept [this decision], I want to make thatclear. I don't obey or respect the decision.”i Deeds have now followed these words. The pretext came in the form of the failed coup attempt by parts of the Turkish military in the night from July 15 to July 16, 2016. Since that night, the executive has re- moved almost 3000 judges and state prosecutors from office, with the majority of them also detained. It seems apparent that lists of targets had already been drawn up before the event. The suspensions and repression have been extended to include thousands of journalists, teachers, professors, lawyers and employees in various ed- ucational establishments. Newspapers and radio/TV broadcasters have been shut down or brought into line. Invoking the Turkish constitution and Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Turkish government has declared a “state of emergency” in order to free itself from further bothersome constitutional limitations.

IAWJThe International Association of Women Judges (www.iawj.org), representing judges from countries around the world, is committed to judicial independence and impartiality as essential to the Rule of Law. The wholesale termination of judges, with an apparent lack of individualized due process, is a threat to those principles. We urge the Turkish authorities to conform their actions to the dictates of the national Constitution and laws, consistent with international principles of human rights, the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary and the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct.

In accordance with these principles, any suspension or removal of a Judge from office should be only for reasons of incapacity or behavior that renders that judge unfit to discharge his or her duties in accordance with established standards of judicial conduct.  Any decisions in disciplinary, suspension or removal proceedings should normally be subject to independent review.

MEDELDear Sir or Madam, MEDEL (Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés), an organization of European judges and prosecutors created with the main purpose to defend  the independence of the judiciary, democracy and human rights, currently comprises 22 national associations from 15 European countries, including Turkey, and as an observer member of the CCPE, hereby states the following:

The European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) expressed its grave concerns by the reports that over 2700 judges and prosecutors had been suspended and/or dismissed by the High Council for Judges and Prosecutors only hours after the coupd’etatin Turkey had happened. ENCJ also declared that would follow the developments in Turkey and stay in close contact with the relevant European and international authorities.

Turkey military coup (Source amnesty.org Photo: Getty Images)Amnesty International has gathered credible evidence that detainees in Turkey are being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, in official and unofficial detention centres in the country.
The organization is calling for independent monitors to be given immediate access to detainees in all facilities in the wake of the coup attempt, which include police headquarters, sports centres and courthouses. More than 10,000 people have been detained since the failed coup.

Amnesty International has credible reports that Turkish police in Ankara and Istanbul are holding detainees in stress positions for up to 48 hours, denying them food, water and medical treatment, and verbally abusing and threatening them. In the worst cases some have been subjected to severe beatings and torture, including rape.

Superior Judicial Council of RomaniaPoziţia domnului judecător Mircea Aron, preşedinte al Consiliului Superior al Magistraturii  referitoare la informaţiile vehiculate în spaţiul public privind situaţia judecătorilor şi procurorilor din Turcia

Urmare  a informaţiilor publice vehiculate în spaţiul internaţional de către agenţiile de presă şi diverse organisme şi organizaţii internaţionale, privitoare la acţiunile întreprinse de către autorităţile turce în legătură cu un număr îngrijorător de magistraţi turci, ulterior recentelor evenimente petrecute în Turcia, declarate de  autorităţile Statului Turc ca fiind o tentativă de lovitură de stat

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The European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA)The ECBA, whose objects under its constitution include promoting “(...) the administration of justice and human rights under the rule of law within the member states of the Council of Europe and among the peoples of the world” is alarmed by reports that following an attempted coup d’état Turkey is considering the restoration of the death penalty in order to execute the ringleaders of the coup if not others as well.

Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights. Consequently Turkey is bound by Protocols 6 and 13 of the E CHR which abolish the death penalty. Any law adopted by the Turkish Parliament to restore the death penalty would automatically infringe these Protocols and in this regard no derogation under Article 15 of the Convention would be available.

MEDELDear President Nils Engstad, We are writing you to call an extraordinary meeting as soon as possible to discuss the suppression of the independence of the judiciary in Turkey, after thousands of judges and prosecutors have been deposed from the bench in the middle of the night and detained without a due process and in clear violation of the basic rule of law principles.

Turkey is a member of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and committed itself to respect the recommendation Rec(2010)12 on judges, related to their independence. The representative of Turkey to CCJE must provide answers to the Council about the recent developments in country, where a quarter of the magistrates have been purged as a result of a cleansing operation conducted by the Turkish government.

MEDELDear President Cédric VISART DE BOCARME, We are writing you to call an extraordinary meeting as soon as possible to discuss the suppression of the independence of the judiciary in Turkey, after thousands of judges and prosecutors have been deposed from the bench in the middle of the night and detained without a due process and in clear violation of the basic rule of law principles.

Turkey is a member of the Consultative Council of  European Prosecutors (CCPE) and committed itself to respect the recommendation Rec(2000)19, on the role of public prosecution in the criminal justice system. The representative of Turkey to CCPE must provide answers to the Council about the recent developments in country, where a quarter of the magistrates have been purged as a result of a cleansing operation conducted by the Turkish government.

Turkey coup Photo: Shutterstock (Source: coe.int)In my capacity as President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, I am concerned about the situation of civil society in Turkey.  Following the failed coup attempt, condemned by the Council of Europe, and the declared state of emergency, the Turkish government has now announced its intention to temporarily suspend parts of the European Convention on Human Rights.

If, according to the statement of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the state of emergency aims to strengthen democracy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms[1], Turkey must continue to guarantee the rights enshrined in those articles of which can be no derogation, notably the right to life and the prohibition of torture. 

Polish Judges Association "IUSTITIA"Polish Judges Association "IUSTITIA" with a great concern notes the information coming from Turkey about dismissal more than 2,000 judges and prosecutors and detention a few hundreds of them. These actions raise serious concern about further democratic order in Turkey. There is no indication as to have a real connection with a failed coup.

Changes in the law, adopted in the months, prior to these events weakened the independence of the judiciary and the independence of the Turkish judges .Detention those among them who were protesting against the changes raises serious suspicions about the political background of the current action.

Supreme Judicial Council of BulgariaВисшият съдебен съвет на Република България изразява своята загриженост за спазване правата на над 2 700 турски съдии и прокурори, които по публични данни са били отстранени от работа, освободени от длъжност или арестувани непосредствено след неуспешния опит за преврат в Република Турция.

Като организация, членуваща в Европейската мрежа на съдебните съвети, споделяме изразения призив както от ЕМСС, така и от други международни съдийски организации, че търсенето на отговорност от лицата, които стоят зад опита за преврат в Република Турция, не трябва да нарушава върховенството на закона и принципите, гарантиращи независимостта на съдиите и прокурорите и правото на справедлив процес спрямо тях.

CCPEThe Bureau of the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) has closely followed the dramatic events that occurred in Turkey recently.

A democratically elected authority cannot be reversed by a military coup.  It has been reported, however, that following these events, hundreds of prosecutors were immediately imprisoned. This massive purge of prosecutors is far from the expected democratic attitude of a member state of the Council of Europe.

Proceedings against individuals, including prosecutors, who are suspected of involvement in the attempted coup, must comply strictly with the rule of law, always be respectful of individual fundamental rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and strictly accord with all relevant legal procedures affecting them.

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