Memorandum from the Turkish Embassy
Letter to the Chairman of the Committee
from the Charge d'Affairs, Turkish Embassy
Following the EU Copenhagen Summit the Turkish
Government has been continuing to further harmonise its legislation
in line with its EU accession process. I am pleased to enclose
herewith summary notes on the progress made in Turkey after the
Copenhagen Summit in the field of Copenhagen political criteria
as well as justice and home affairs.
In this context, a largely significant step
has been the adoption of the fourth harmonisation package by the
Parliament on 2 January 2003. Highlights of this legislative package,
which includes amendments to 37 operational articles in various
laws, are enclosed. Furthermore, on 15 January 2003 Turkey signed
the Additional Protocol No 6 of the European Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning
the abolition of the death penalty.
These developments attest to the fact that Turkey
is determined to take its accession process further without delay.
In this respect, we are encouraged by the continuing supportive
stance taken by Britain.
22 January 2003
I. International Convention
Turkey signed the Additional Protocol No. 6
to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the abolition of the
death penalty except in cases of war and imminent threat of war
as of 15 January 2003.
II. Constitutional Amendments
The constitutional amendments entered into force
following their publication in the Official Journal No 24980 (Repeat
issue) dated 31 December 2002. These amendments are mainly on
the eligibility to be elected as a Member of Parliament and procedures
to be followed for by-elections. With the amendment to Article
76 of the Constitution, the scope of the freedom of thought and
expression was expanded. The previous condition stipulated in
this article of "not having participated in ideological or
anarchical acts" to be eligible to become a Member of Parliament
was repealed and a new provision regarding "participation
in acts of terrorism" has been introduced.
III. Laws Enacted
The fourth harmonization package was adopted
by the Parliament on the 2 January 2003 and entered into force
after being published in the Official Journal No 24990, dated
11 January 2003.
The Act Amending Some Acts in order to Combat
Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business
Transactions was adopted by the Parliament on 2 January 2003 and
entered into force after being published in the Official Journal
No 24990, dated 11 January 2003.
The Act Amending the Act on the Postponement
of Cases and the Suspension of Sentences on Offences committed
through the Press and Broadcasting was adopted by the Parliament
on the 2 January 2003. The purpose of the amendment is to allow
persons, whose sentences had been enforced prior to the entry
into force of the Act on the Postponement of Cases and the Suspension
of Sentences on Offences Committed through the Press and Broadcasting,
to be able to benefit from provisions in their favour in this
The Act Amending the Act on the National Security
Council and the Secretariat General of the National Security Council
was adopted by the Parliament on 15 January 2003 to align with
the Constitutional amendments of 3 October 2001. In this context,
the Deputy Prime Ministers and the Minister of Justice became
members of the Council and the decisions related to the determination,
identification and implementation of the national security policy
of the State became "consultative" in character.
IV. Secondary Legislation
The Bylaw on the Languages used in Radio and
Television Broadcasting was issued by the Radio and Television
High Board, as foreseen in the third harmonization package, and
was published in the Official Journal No 24967, dated 18 December
2002. This bylaw sets the rules and procedures for broadcasting
in languages and dialects used traditionally by Turkish citizens
in their daily lives.
Under the bylaw, the Turkish Radio and Television
Institution is responsible for broadcasting in the said languages
and dialects, which may be up to 45 minutes per day and four hours
per week for the radio and up to 30 minutes per day and two hours
per week for the television.
21 January 2003
The Act Amending the Act on the Enforcement
of Criminal Judgments Given by Foreign Courts on Turkish Nationals
and by Turkish Courts on Foreign Nationals (Published in the OJ
of 8 January 2003).
The Act Revising Two Articles of the Act on
the Establishment and Duties of the Training Centre for Candidate
Judges and Prosecutors (Published in the OJ of 8 January 2003).
The Act on the Amendments to the Turkish Penal
Code, Act on the Enforcement of Judgments and the Act on Land
Traffic (Published in the OJ of 15 January 2003).
The Act Amending the Act on the Enforcement
of Criminal Penalties and the Collection of Public Debts (Published
in the OJ of 15 January 2003).
The Act on the Establishment, Duties and Trial
Procedures of Family Courts (Published in the OJ of 18 January
21 January 2003
This package contains 37 operational articles
that amend the following laws:
Act on the Prosecution of Civil Servants
and Public Employees.
Decree Law No: 430 concerning states
Act on State Security Courts.
Act on Political Parties.
Act on Election of Members of Parliament.
Act on Judicial Records.
Code of Criminal Procedure.
Act on the Exercise of the Right
Act on Elections of Local Administrations,
District Headmen and Board of Elders.
Act concerning the Human Rights Investigation
Summary of the Contents
Provisions are introduced to further increase
the effectiveness of the fight against torture and maltreatment
The amendment to the Act on the Prosecution
of Civil Servants and Public Employees removes the requirement
for administrative permission for a civil servant or public official
if they are accused of torture or maltreatment.
The Turkish Penal Code is amended to further
enhance deterrent measures against torture and maltreatment. With
this amendment, penalties for offences indicated in Article 243
and 245 of this Code may no longer be converted into fines or
into one of the legal measures, and may not be postponed.
Decree Law No 430, applicable for detention
conditions in areas declared to be in a State of Emergency, is
amended. With these amendments, the time period for which a convict
or detainee can be removed from prison to assist in investigations
is reduced from 10 days to four days in alignment with the Constitutional
amendments of 2001 and the first harmonization package.
Article 16/4 of the Act on State Security Courts
is repealed. This amendment makes the provisions of the Code of
Penal Procedure protecting the rights of the apprehended or arrested
persons applicable also to criminal offences coming under the
jurisdiction of State Security Courts.
The right to freedom of association is further
Act on Associations and the Turkish Civil Code
is amended to further increase the exercise of the right to the
freedom of association and to harmonize relevant legislation with
the most recent amendments to the Constitution. With these amendments:
various restrictions are lifted on
the establishment of associations;
Turkish is to be the language used
by associations only in their official correspondence with Turkish
legal entities may become members
the persons who are to vote on behalf
of legal entities are designated;
requirement of prior notification
for public communication by associations is removed;
associations established in Turkey
no longer need to obtain permission to participate as members
in associations or organizations abroad or undertake international
activities and cooperation;
the procedure on the establishment
of branches and higher bodies, participation in higher bodies
and undertaking of activities in Turkey by foreign associations
is simplified. This also applies to non-profit organizations other
than associations and foundations.
The procedures on non-Muslim community foundations
Act on Foundations is amended to simplify procedures
for the acquisition and disposal of immovable properties by non-Muslim
The relevant legislation on political parties
and eligibility to stand in parliamentary elections are revised
to bring these provisions in line with the most recent Constitutional
Act on Political Parties is amended, revising
the rules on the establishment of, eligibility for membership
in, donations to, closure of and the right to legal recourse for
political parties, bringing these provisions in line with the
most recent amendments to the Constitution and to the relevant
Act on the Election of Members of Parliament
is amended to revise criteria for eligibility to be a member of
Amendments to the Act on Judicial Records further
enhance the protection of children and the reinstitution of the
rights of the convict
The Act on Judicial Records is amended to revise
certain rules regarding information kept in judicial records and
to provide for the deletion of information on convictions in these
records for certain crimes. With these amendments:
the age limits in legislation regarding
judicial records are revised to the benefit of children, in line
with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
information on diverse types of convictions
will be deleted from judicial records within different time frames.
The Code of Criminal Procedure is amended in the
light of ECtHR jurisprudence to reinforce the right to defence
The Code of Criminal Procedure is amended in
the light of ECtHR jurisprudence to reinforce the right to defence
with the requirement that the recommendation of the Chief Public
Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals is communicated to
The freedom of press is further reinforced, in
line with ECtHR jurisprudence
The Press Act is amended, in line with the ECtHR
jurisprudence, to guarantee the right of the press not to reveal
Exemption from stamp duties is extended to include
compensation for ECtHR decisions and friendly settlement
The Act on Stamp Duties is amended to exempt
compensation paid in compliance with ECtHR decisions and sums
for friendly settlement from stamp duties.
The use of the right to petition is extended to
foreigners residing in Turkey
The Act on the Exercise of the Right to Petition
is amended to align the relevant legislation in force with the
most recent Constitutional amendments. These amendments, which
are mainly related to the procedures for the application and review
of petitions, introduce the provision that the decisions are notified
along with their justification, and extend the use of this right
to foreigners residing in Turkey.