COUNCIL OF JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS
Turkish
The Visit of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors to Strasbourg, France

The High Council of Judges and Prosecutors made a study visit to Strasbourg, France, between 15 and 19 June 2015 in order to make contacts with the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the Venice Commission. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Metin YANDIRMAZ, the Deputy President and the Head of the Third Chamber of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, the Committee was composed of Mr. Mehmet YILMAZ, the Head of the Second Chamber, and Mr. Ömür TOPAÇ, member of the First Chamber. The Committee was accompanied by Mr. Ozan Muzaffer KÖSTÜ and Mr. Burak Turan BENLİ, judges at the Department of Foreign Relations and Projects of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors; as well as Mr. Murat ÜLKÜ, Judicial Consultant at Strasbourg. 

In the morning of the first day of the visit, the Committee had a meeting with Mr. Gianni BUQUICCHIO, President of the European Commission of Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission). Mr. Thomas MARKERT, the Secretary of the Commission, was also present at the meeting where the recent judicial developments in Turkey were discussed. Later, there was a lunch held in honour of our Committee at the residence of the Ambassador Mr. Erdoğan Şerif İŞCAN, the Permanent Representative of Turkey before the Council of Europe. 

In the afternoon of the first day, a meeting was held with Mr. Philippe BOILLAT, the Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law at the Council of Europe; to which Mr. Hanne JUNCHER, the Head of the Judicial and Legal Cooperation Department, also joined. In the meeting, the possibilities of the Council of Europe to provide technical and expert support to the projects of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors titled “Strengthening the Judicial Ethics in Turkey”, “Improving the Inspection Standards and the Promotion System for an Impartial and Independent Judiciary” and “Improving the Efficiency of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors for an Impartial and Independent Judiciary” were discussed; and it was agreed to increase bilateral collaboration. 

Subsequently, the Committee had a meeting with Mr. Thorbjorn JAGLAND, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Ms. Leyla KAYACIK, the Senior Advisor of the Secretary General, also participated in the meeting. In this meeting, the Committee presented their gratitude to the Secretary General for his support and friendly approach to the judicial reforms in Turkey; and the possibilities of cooperation regarding the projects of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors as well as the most recent developments in the Turkish judiciary were discussed. The Ambassador Mr. Erdoğan Şerif İŞCAN accompanied the Committee in all the contacts they made on the first day of the visit. 

On the second day of the visit, in the meeting with the participation of Ms. Işıl KARAKAŞ, the President of the Second Section of the European Court of Human Rights; Mr. Stanley NAISMITH, Second Section Registrar; Mr. Abel Chaves De CAMPOS, Deputy Registrar; and Turkish Division Chiefs Mr. Civan TURMANGİL, Mr. Atilla NALBANT, Mr. Seçkin EREL and Mr. Hasan BAKIRCI; firstly, congratulations were expressed to Ms. Işıl KARAKAŞ for having been elected the President of the Second Section of the European Court of Human Rights, and then there was a discussion on the implementations of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors aimed at encouraging the Turkish judges and prosecutors towards being in compliance with the case-law of the ECHR; followed by an evaluation of the possibilities of bilateral cooperation regarding the human rights trainings of the HCJP; and finally a session informing our Committee of the restructuring of the ECHR. The official visit was concluded after a lunch organized by the Turkish Division Chiefs in honour of our Committee.

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