A lengthy conversation with Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Turkey, was published in Today’s Zaman. the interview focused on a new bill which threatens to fundamentally undermine judicial independence in Turkey.
Gardner noted that the reform, which has been rushed through parliament, “[is clearly an] attempt… to stop possible abuses or wrongdoing by senior public officials [from] being subjected to the scrutiny of the courts.”
Gardner also argued that the HSYK bill represents “a much more long-term problem” of the Turkish judiciary. He said the judiciary has been used to prosecute the expression of peaceful ideas “unfairly,” and yet it remains ineffective against alleged wrongdoing, “be it allegations of corruption or human rights abuses” by public officials. “Unfortunately, it seems with these recent changes [to the HSYK], it is going to be even less effective in bringing these abuses by public official to account,” he added, stating what he called AI’s assessment that the changes to the HSYK “very clearly” damage the independence of the judiciary.
“It seems clear that the attempt is being made to stop possible abuses or wrongdoing by senior public officials being subjected to the scrutiny of the courts.”