World Bulletin/News Desk
Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç has said the top court has made the necessary preparations to start accepting individual petitions for complaints of human rights violations.
He emphasized that Turkey's aim is to achieve full integration with universal values in its judicial system with the introduction of the individual right to petition the top court for the violation of fundamental human rights.
The Constitutional Court will start accepting petitions from individual plaintiffs starting on Monday as part of changes made to the constitution after a referendum held on Sept. 12, 2010. It was expected that the number of cases against Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will drop significantly.
Kılıç said complaints over the length of trials or pre-detention period may be brought to the Constitutional Court after remedies sought at the lower and appellate court had been exhausted.
“Should an application filed for terminating pre-detention period be rejected, too, by a higher court after a court of first instance, this shall be the final ruling and an individual application to our court shall be allowed. If accepted, the Constitutional Court will make a decision on application,” he explained.
Highlighting that rights and liberties will be viewed from a broader window, President Kılıç stated that he hoped the bad track record of Turkey in the ECtHR will improve with the exercise of a personal appeal to the top court.
“From now on, we expect a decrease in the number of ECtHR applications as we will switch to a broader understanding of rights and freedoms. At the Constitutional Court, we prefer a broader window in case our Constitution contradicts with the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR],” he explained.
The ECHR, drafted in 1950, places Turkey under the jurisdiction of the ECtHR. In 1987, Turkey accepted the right of individuals to file applications with the ECtHR and in 1990 recognized the compulsory jurisdiction of the court. The convention is part of the Turkish Constitution, according to revised Article 90 of the Constitution. But in practice this did not limit the surge in the numbers of cases in Strasbourg.
Kılıç said judges ought to hold international law above national law when there is a conflict, but this was rarely exercised in the past. “We will review these cases if they were brought to our attention from now on,” he said.
Acknowledging they have been working on preparations at a rapid pace since the recognition of the right to individual application with the 2010 referendum, Kılıç told reporters that they have resolved staff and physical shortcomings. He added that the National Judicial Network Communications System (UYAP) has been upgraded to accommodate online applications.
Two chambers have been set up under the Constitutional Court for the review of individual applications and the number of rapporteurs was raised to 50, in compliance with advice from the ECtHR. The court will add 10 more rapporteurs to its staff, Kılıç revealed. Applications will be reviewed by two-person commissions in terms of “eligibility.”
Kemerkoy and Yenikoy thermal power plants located in the south western province of Mugla are privatized for $2.6 billion.
Oil from Iraq's Kurdish region will flow to international markets via Turkey.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been particularly hostile against Turkey and other opposition groups in Syria.
"I don't have any political plan for the future under today's conditions," Gul told reporters in the western province of Kutahya, when asked about a presidential election in August
Turkey's foreign minister says the country is ready to help in any way it can to resolve the crisis in Ukraine and will support any initiatives.
Earlier this week, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev was for his efforts in defending his people award the Medal of State, the highest award in Turkey, in a ceremony at the Turkish presidential palace in Ankara.
Turkish dailies on Friday are covering President Abdullah Gul telling business leaders to "not get demoralized" over Turkey's political environment, remarks by the country's transport minister over the possible pixelation of "malicious content" on Twitter and the ongoing travails of the embattled chairman of scandal-hit Istanbul football club, Fenerbahce.
Turkey will seek a discount in the price of gas it is buying from Russia during planned talks, Turkey's energy minister said
Turkey to lead growth in Europe's aviation sector, according to Boeing's Turkey and North African president.
The Asian region has ever-increasing share in world economy, Malaysia's prime minister said ahead of the FTA signing.
The changes ratified by parliament give the MIT more scope for eavesdropping and foreign operations, as well as greater immunity from prosecution for top agents.
"Do not give credit to other than the official statement," Basci told reporters after his discord with PM Erdogan.
Greek jets locked onto Turkish jets as they flew in international air space over the Aegean Sea.
Turkey has promised to help Crimean Tatars maintain their cultural and linguistic identity in the hope that their language will officially be recognized.
Slowing economies and higher interest rates will drag banks in emerging markets, says ratings agency.
A Greek court refused Turkey's demand to extradite illegal organization member Huseyin Fevzi Tekin, who was detained in his home with ammunition in Athens.