Turkish judiciary ignored demand for rights: council president

In a landmark move earlier this year, the Council of State ruled to suspend the application of an article from the code of practice of the Turkish Bar Association (TBB) banning female lawyers from wearing headscarves.

Turkish judiciary ignored demand for rights: council president

World Bulletin/News Desk                        

Council of State President Hüseyin Karakullukçu complained on Friday that the judiciary has ignored calls from the society for expanded rights and freedoms.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 145th anniversary of the foundation of the Council of State, he said: “The judiciary has failed to listen to legitimate and peaceful demands for rights and freedoms,” adding that this situation has significantly undermined the prestige of judicial organs in the country.

Karakullukçu noted that although some steps have been taken in the country to increase human rights, Turkey has still been unable to reach the desired level in human rights because the improvements have not been adopted by all state organs.

According to Karakullukçu, the judiciary plays an important role in the settlement, protection and improvement of human rights in a country.

“The judiciary is a force which should sensitively prioritize rights and freedoms. This is the duty of the judiciary in all democratic countries and what is expected from it. Unfortunately, the judiciary has failed to fulfill this fundamental duty for a long while in Turkey. Contrary to its counterparts in free societies, the judiciary in Turkey remained indifferent to the violation of human rights and freedoms,” he said.

For many years, the judiciary has been criticized for prioritizing the interests of the state over the freedoms and rights of individuals. Yet, this has begun to change over the past years.

For instance, in a landmark move earlier this year, the Council of State ruled to suspend the application of an article from the code of practice of the Turkish Bar Association (TBB) that bans female lawyers from wearing headscarves while practicing their profession. Female lawyers are now able to attend court hearings wearing their scarves.

In similar cases in the past, the same court on many occasions ruled against allowing women to wear headscarves if they so choose.

Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2013, 09:44
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