On 17 February 2014 the Turkish Justice Academy hosted the third Steering Committee Meeting of the Twinning project “Improved Relations between Mass Media and the Judiciary” in Ankara. This Twinning project is a tripartite cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Turkey, the German (IRZ) and Dutch (CILC) twinning mandated bodies and the Netherlands Council for the Judiciary.
The Steering Committee Meeting was chaired by Mr. Basri Bagcι, Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Justice, and included discussions on the progress and achievements of the project during its last quarter. This included the following important interventions:
- Conducting the third and last study visit to Germany and the Netherlands for Turkish experts (4-8 November 2013);
- Conducting a last regional workshop in Adana (11-13 November 2013) and acquainting Turkish experts (judges, public prosecutors, journalists etc.) with the institution of the judicial spokesperson in, inter alia, Austria, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands;
- Conducting a study of provisions in the Turkish legislation which are relevant for the institution and activities of a judicial spokesperson and a comparative overview of relevant provisions of the laws of Austria, Germany and the Netherlands;
- Developing seven training curricula to be used for training future Turkish advisors and trainers of judicial spokespersons, which will be made available to the Turkish Academy of Justice.
These achievements were possible in light of the dedicated support provided by IRZ and CILC with the daily management of project activities, in the absence of a Resident Twinning Advisor since mid January 2014. Project progress was also achieved despite the notable pressure on the activity of the involved Turkish institutions (judiciary, High Council for Judges and Prosecutors, Ministry of Justice), generated by recent political and social unrest in Turkey.
Heated public debate surrounded the adoption by the Turkish Parliament of the Internet law (on 6 February) and the Law on the High Judicial Council for Judges and Prosecutors (14 February). Both laws have in the mean time been sent to President Abdullah Gül for his consideration.