An Internatıonal Conferance on a Theme ‘’Consitutıonal Justice: Actual Issues and Prospects’’ in Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of The Constitutional Court of Mongolia Foundation
30 JUNE 2017
Assoc. Prof.Dr. Recai AKYEL
Member of the Constitutıonal Court of the Republic of Turkey
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank President MR. N. JANTSAN and the Constitutional Court of MONGOLIA for the kind invitation they submitted on the occasion of the activities in celebration of the “25th Anniversary of Establishment of the Constitutional Court of Mongolia” and I also would like to thank for the warm hospitality.
I would like to express that I feel happy to be here and to address to this community composed of my distinguished colleagues, whithin an international conference on a theme ‘Constitutional Justice: Actual issues and prospects’ in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of its foundation.
I congratulate the Constitutional Court of Mongolia on its 25th Anniversary.
Within 15 minutes, I would like to deliver a presentation in summary and in general terms to you on Actual Issues and Prospects of the Turkish Constitutional Justice.
The Turkish Constitutional Court, being one of the oldest constitutionality review organs established in Europe, has accumulated a sizeable amount of experience in its history of more than fiftyfive years. You can find reflections of the development of constitutional justice in our country and the Court’s transformation process up to present in this speech.
The basic function of the Constitutional Court of Turkey can be sum-marized as safeguarding and promoting democracy, rule of law and the fundamental rights and freedoms. In performing this crucial function, the Court has learned a lot from its past experiences and continuously developed its jurisprudence to better address the needs of the time.
I am more than happy to express that Turkish Constitutional Court has shown a significant progress to achieve a paradigm shift and adopted a “rights-based paradigm” in the recent years. Our Court strives to establish constitutional and individual justice through constitutionality review and individual application. Consequently, the Constitutional Court has become the bulwark of fundamental rights and freedoms to a considerable extent.
This paradigm shift can be tracked down especially in our judgments concerning individual applications. In these judgments, the Constitutional Court adopted an approach which broadens the scope of protection and enhances the standards for fundamental rights and freedoms. These judgments also increase the prestige of the Court in international arena by providing us the opportunity to contribute to corpus of universal law.
We are more than willing to share our knowledge and experience with our counterparts in other countries and improve the Court by learning from theirs. We firmly believe that a strong cooperation among the organs of constitutional justice all around the world will make significant contribution to realizing our common ideal of a fair and peaceful world.
Therefore, we welcome all requests and proposals to establish means of communication and cooperation with other constitutional courts and equivalent institutions. If anyone would like to learn more about the Constitutional Court of Turkey, they may visit our website at www.constitutionalcourt.gov.tr or request specific information from our relevant departments.
2. BEFORE THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
Considering the fact that the European model of constitutional adjudication developed after the World War II, it is not surprising that the earliest versions of Turkish Constitutions, the first written Constitution of Turkish history dated 1876, and 1921 and 1924 Constitutions did not have provisions establishing a constitutional review mechanism.
However, there are some provisions which bear hints of constitutionality review as early as in the constitution of 1876. For instance, Article 115 of the constitution of 1876 adopts the principle of the supremacy of constitution by stating “No provision of the Constitution can, under any pretext whatsoever, be suspended or neglected.”
Similarly, Article 64 of the constitution of 1876 prescribes not a legal but a political review of constitutionality by stating “The Senate examines the Bills or Budget transmitted to it by the Chamber of Deputies. If in the course of the examination of a Bill the Senate finds a provision contrary to the sovereign rights of the Sultan, to liberty, the Constitution, the territorial integrity of the Empire, the internal security of the country, to the interests of the defence of the country, or to morality, it rejects it definitely by a vote, assigning its reasons; or it sends it back, accompanied by its observations, to the Chamber of Deputies, demanding that it should be amended or modified in the sense of those observations.”
The 1921 Constitution contained no provision relating to the constitutional adjudication. Later on, the 1924 Constitution adopted the supremacy of the constitution and explicitly prescribed that laws cannot be contrary to the Constitution by stating in Article 103 “None of the provisions of this Constitution may be arbitrarily modified on any pretext; neither may the enforcement of any provision be suspended. No law shall be in contradiction to the Constitution.” However, the 1924 Constitution introduced no mechanism carrying out the constitutionality review of the norms.
3. ESTABLISHING OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
- THE 1961 CONSTITUTION
The Turkish Constitutional Court was first established by the 1961 Constitution. In that period, only a few countries in Europe (Austria, Germany and Italy) had a constitutional adjudication mechanism. Therefore, Turkish Constitutional Court is one of the oldest constitutional courts established in Europe.
Article 8 of the 1961 Constitution adopted the supremacy and the binding force of the Constitution by stating “Laws shall not be in conflict with the Constitution. The provisions of the Constitution shall be fundamental legal principles binding the legislative, executive and judicial organs, administrative authorities and individuals” The Constitution also established a Constitutional Court to carry out the constitutional review of laws under Article 145 and subsequent articles of the Constitution. As stated above, Turkey is one of the first countries to adopt the constitutional adjudication, which is considered to be the most important and ultimate level in the development of the rule of law. The Court started operating in 1962 following the enactment of the Law No. 44 on Establishment and Rules of Procedures of the Constitutional Court (dated 22.4.1962)
3.2. THE 1982 CONSTITUTION
The system of constitutional review established by the 1961 Constitution was preserved in the 1982 Constitution with a few changes. Articles 146-153 of the Constitution lay down in detail the composition, duties, working methods of the Constitutional Court and other issues concerning constitutional review. The Constitutional Court carried out its duties until 2011 according to the Law No. 2949 (dated 10.11.1983).
Since the composition, powers and structure of the Court were changed considerably by the constitutional amendments in 2010, a new law was enacted in 2011. The new Law on Establishment and Rules of Procedures of the Constitutional Court (No. 6216, 30.3.2011), spelling out the provisions of the Constitution, stipulates its organization, independence, proceedings, disciplinary infractions and disciplinary proceedings. The procedure of the Constitutional Court are established by the Rules of Procedure of the Court.
The introduction of individual application mechanism through the constitutional amendments in 2010 provided for an effective means to ensure better protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. With the amendments made to that end, the citizens are entitled the right to individual application, and Constitutional Court is assigned the duty to examine and rule on such applications for the protection of individual rights and freedoms.
4. THE ADJUDICATION PROCEEDINGS OF THE COURT
According to Article 149 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court consists of two sections and a plenary. Each section convenes under the chairmanship of a vice-president with the participation of four members. The plenary shall convene with the participation of at least twelve members under the chairmanship of the President of the Constitutional Court or a vice-president determined by the President. The sections and the plenary shall take decisions by absolute majority. Commissions may be established to examine the admissibility of the individual applications.
It is within the competence of the plenary to hear the cases and applications concerning political parties, actions for annulment and objection and trials where it acts as the Supreme Criminal Court. The sections are endowed with the power to decide on admissibility and merits of individual applications. The commissions are solely responsible for decisions of admissibility of individual applications.
The Constitutional Court examines cases on the basis of documents in the case file, except where it acts as the Supreme Criminal Court. Nonetheless, it may decide to hold hearings for individual applications. When it deems necessary, the Court also may call on those concerned and those having knowledge relevant to the case, to present oral explanations. The Constitutional Court, in cases relating to dissolution of a political party, shall hear the indictment of the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation and the defense of the chairman of the relevant political party or a proxy appointed by the chairman
5. THE DECISION MAKING BODIES OF THE COURT
The plenary shall convene with the participation of at least twelve members under the chairmanship of the President of the Constitutional Court or a vicepresident determined by the President.
5.1.PLENARY OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
The Plenary, consisting of seventeen members including the President of the Court, shall convene with the participation of at least twelve members under the chairmanship of the President or a vice-president determined by the President. As a rule, the Plenary shall take decisions by absolute majority. However, annulment of constitutional amendments, dissolution of political parties, or their deprivation from state aid, shall be decided with a two-thirds majority of members attending the meeting.
5.2. SECTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
There are two Sections of the Court each consisting of seven members and presided by a vice-president. The Sections shall convene with five justices and take their decisions with a simple majority.
The main duty of the Sections is to examine and adjudicate on the merits of individual applications. However, if a Commission deems it necessary for the adoption of a principal judgment, then the application is referred to the Section where the admissibility review may be carried out together with the review on the merits.
5.3. COMMISSIONS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
There are three Commissions under each Section. Each commission consists of two members and shall decide unanimously. When unanimity cannot be ensured, the case shall be referred to the Section.
The Commissions are mainly responsible for deciding on the admissibility of individual applications. The draft decisions on admissibility prepared by the rapporteur-judges of the Commissions shall be ruled upon by the Commissions.
If the admissibility review of an individual application requires to determine whether the relevant application bears importance for interpreting and implementing the Constitution and defining the scope and limits of the fundamental rights or to ascertain whether the applicant sustained a significant damage, then the Commission may refer the case file to the Section without deciding on the admissibility review of the application. The Commissions may refer the case file to the Sections as well if a principle decision is to be made by the Sections in order for the application to be concluded or if the decision to be made is likely to conflict a previous decision of the Court.
THE PRIORITY OF THE DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE COURT IS PROTECTING CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER AND DEMOCRATIC VALUES
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey protects the democratic constitutıonal order and fundemental rigths and freedooms. The raison d’etre of the Turkish Constitutional court is to protect the democratic constitutıonal order and fundamental rights and freedooms.
The year 2016 leaves an unforgettable mark in the Turkish and World Political history with its fight for democracy. A junta within the Turkish Armed Forces attempted a coup d’état at the night of 15 July 2016; and the winner in the sequel of the heroic struggle of the holy Turkish Nation, has been freedom and democracy.
The aim of the coup attempt of July 15 was essentially to abolish the democratic Constitutional order and fundamental rights and freedoms it has been protecting. The Constitutional Court pointed out in his statement that it made in the early hours of the coup attempt as the clashes still went on that this “attempt against the constitutional order was undemocratic” and repudiated it explicitly. The Constitutional Court, was the first state institution to announce to the national and international public with its statement that it repudiates all kinds of antidemocratic attempts against the constitutional order. The Court, for the first time in its history, announced that it stands on the side of the constitution and fundamental rights by releasing a statement with the following words:
“We repudiate all kinds of antidemocratic attempts against the constitutional order and we would like our glorious nation to know that we stand beside the democratic constitutional state”.
The “Fetullahist Terror Organization” (FETÖ) and/or the “Parallel State Structure” (PDY) established its cadre especially in the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), civil administrative institutions, the judicial bodies, police force and educational institutions. To effectively fight against the FETÖ/PDY after the coup attempt of July 15 the state of emergency was declared and in this scope the Decree Law no.667 about the measures taken during the state of emergency was enacted.
On 4/8/2016 it was decided unanimously by the Plenary of the Court pursuant to Article 3 of the mentioned decree law that it was no longer appropriate for the two Justices,Who the Plenary considered that they were related to the Parallel State Sturcture, to stay in profession and removed them from the Office. İn addition, a number of rapporteurs, assistant rapporteurs and staff members were removed from Office at the court.
THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
The constitutionality of laws, decree laws and the Rules of Procedure of Turkish Grand National Assembly or the provisions thereof may be challenged directly before the Constitutional Court through an annulment action by persons and organs empowered by the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court does not act ex officio. It has to work on the basis of relevant applications filed in the Court. The Constitution defines a strictly limited range of bodies that are authorized to access to the Constitutional Court. Under the Constitution, access to the Court can be made in the following ways:
7.1.CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW OF NORMS ACTION FOR ANNULMENT (ABSTRACT REVIEW OF NORMS)
The constitutionality of laws, decree laws and the Rules of Procedure of Turkish Grand National Assembly or the provisions thereof may be challenged directly before the Constitutional Court through an annulment action by persons and organs empowered by the Constitution. The President of the Republic, parliamentary group of the party in power and of the main opposition party and a minimum of one-fifth of the total number of members of the Parliament have the power to apply for an annulment action to the Constitutional Court. If more than one political party is in power, the party having the greatest number of deputies exercises the power to apply for an annulment action.
The power to apply for annulment directly to the Constitutional Court lapses sixty days after publication in the Official Gazette of the contested law, the decree laws, or the Rules of Procedure of Parliament.
The examination and verification of laws as to form shall be restricted to consideration of whether the requisite majority was obtained in the last ballot; the verification of constitutional amendments shall be restricted to consideration of whether the requisite majorities were obtained for the proposal and in the ballot, and whether the prohibition on debates under expedited procedure was observed. Verification as to form may be requested by the President of the Republic or by one-fifth of the members of the Parliament.
Applications for annulment on the grounds of defect in form shall not be made after ten days have elapsed from the date of publication of the law; and it shall not be appealed by other courts to the Constitutional Court on the grounds of defect in form.
7.2. CONTENTION OF UNCONSTITUTIONALITY (CONCRETE REVIEW OF NORMS)
Contention of unconstitutionality can be initiated by the general, administrative and military courts ex officio or upon the request of parties involved in a case that is heard by the relevant court. Applications are made by correspondence.
According to Article 152 of the Constitution, if a courta quo finds that the law or the decree law or a provision thereof to be applied in a pending case is unconstitutional, or if it is convinced of the seriousness of a claim of unconstitutionality that may be submitted by one of the parties, it applies to the Constitutional Court to decide on constitutionality and it postpones the proceeding of the case until the Constitutional Court decides on the issue. The Constitutional Court should decide on the matter within five months of receiving the contention. If no decision is reached within this period, the applicant court a quo should decide the case under existing legal provisions. No allegation of unconstitutionality may be made with regard to the same legal provision unless ten years elapse after publication in the Official Gazette of the decision of the Constitutional Court dismissing the application on its merits.
7.3 INDIVIDUAL APPLICATION (CONSTITUTIONAL COMPLAINT)
Individual application was introduced into the Turkish legal system by the 2010 constitutional amendments and 23 September 2012 was determined as the first day of receiving applications. Article 148 of the Constitution stipulates that anyone who considers that his/her constitutional rights set forth in the European Convention on Human Rights have been infringed by a public authority will have a right to apply to the Constitutional Court after having exhausted other administrative and judicial remedies.
The Law No. 6216 provides the conditions and procedures of the individual application.
The jurisdiction of the Court ratione materiae comprises fundamental rights and liberties which are regulated by both the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. But some acts of public power exempted from the scope of individual application. No application can be lodged against legislative acts and regulatory administrative acts. The rulings of the Constitutional Court and transactions that have been excluded from judicial review by the Constitution cannot be the subject of individual application.
The jurisdiction of the Court ratione personae comprises both real and legal persons. However, public legal persons cannot lodge individual applications while, private-law legal persons may apply solely on the ground that their rights concerning legal personality have been violated. Foreigners may not lodge individual applications concerning rights exclusive to Turkish citizens.
According to the Constitution and the Law, individual applications must be filed within thirty days, from the date of the notification of the final proceeding which exhausts all legal remedies.
Admissibility examination of individual applications is to be made by commissions. The structure of the commissions has not been regulated by the Law and it was left to the Rules of Procedure. A commission which consists of two justices of the Court may decide unanimously that an application is inadmissible. If a Commission cannot reach a conclusion in examining the admissibility of an application, then the President of the relevant section may decide to conduct joint examination of admissibility and merits of the application. The aim of the admissibility examination is to control whether the application is within the jurisdiction of the Court. But the Law empowered the Court to eliminate some trivial applications. The Court may declare an application inadmissible if it is manifestly ill-founded or if it does not bear any significance for the interpretation or application of the Constitution or for the determination of the scope and limits of fundamental rights and the applicant did not suffer any significant damage. The rationale behind the recognition of the admissibility criteria is to protect the Court from excessive workload and to provide more time to deal with serious fundamental rights allegations.
Before lodging an individual application, all legal and administrative remedies must be exhausted.
If an application is found admissible, it is examined by a section on the merits. The sections convene with four members under the chairmanship of a vice-president. Principally the examination is to be made on the file, but section may decide to hold a hearing if it deems necessary to do so.
In order to prevent any conflict between the Constitutional Court and other courts both the Constitution and the Law provided that examination of the sections on the merits is limited to determine whether a fundamental right has been violated and they cannot examine the matters which will be dealt with at the appeal or cassation stages.
This provision is interpreted by the Constitutional Court in a manner that its role in examination of individual application consists solely of determining whether the applicant’s fundamental rights have been violated. The Court refrains from further commenting on the actions of the judicial bodies, the facts of the case and the proper interpretation of laws by other courts.
The Law also provides that individual applications are subject to payment of a court fee. However, the Court may grant legal aid for those who cannot afford. The Court may impose a fine of up to 2000 Turkish Liras in addition to the costs arising from the proceedings on the applicants who clearly abused the right of individual application.
7.4. DISSOLUTION OF POLITICAL PARTIES
According to Article 69 of the Constitution, the dissolution of political parties shall be decided by the Constitutional Court, following the filing of a suit to that effect by the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation. The Constitutional Court examines the case and gives its judgment on the basis of verbal hearings including the defense made by the defendant party and assertions made by the Chief Public Prosecutor; and on the basis of the report prepared in respect of merits by the appointed rapporteur-judge.
Article 68/4 of the Constitution stipulates that the statutes, programs and the activities of political parties shall not be contrary to the independence of the State, its indivisible integrity with its territory and nation, human rights, the principles of equality and rule of law, sovereignty of the nation, the principles of the democratic and secular republic. The Turkish Constitution enumerates certain prohibitions that could lead to the dissolution of political parties.
The Constitutional Court may rule, instead of dissolving them permanently, that the concerned political party be deprived of state financial aid wholly or in part, in accordance with the severity of the actions brought before the Court.
7.5 FINANCIAL AUDIT OF POLITICAL PARTIES
According to Article 69 of the Constitution, the auditing of the income, expenditure and acquisitions of political parties is within the competence of the Constitutional Court. The Court receives assistance from the Court of Accounts in performing its task of auditing. The judgments rendered by the Court as a result of the auditing are final.
7.6. TRIAL OF STATESMEN BEFORE THE SUPREME CRIMINAL COURT
The Constitutional Court, acting as the Supreme Criminal Court, tries for offences relating to their official functions the President of the Republic, Speaker of the TGNA, Prime Minister and Ministers, presidents and members of the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, the Military Court of Cassation, the Supreme Military Administrative Court and the Chief Public Prosecutors, Deputy Public Prosecutors, and the presidents and members of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors and of the Court of Accounts, the Commander of Turkish Armed Forces (Chief of Staff), the Commanders of the Land, Naval and Air Forces and the General Commander of the Gendarmerie.
The prosecution in matters concerning the Supreme Criminal Court is exercised by the Chief Public Prosecutor or his deputy. One or several of the assistants to the Chief Public Prosecutor may also participate in the trials.The parties to trial may request the Court to review its judgments. The Plenary, acting as Supreme Criminal Court, shall take the decision which will be final.
8. NATURE & EFFECTS OF THE COURT’S JUDGMENTS
The decisions of the Court bind legislative, executive and judicial organs, administrative authorities and persons and corporate bodies.
Laws, decree laws, the Rules of Procedure of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, or relevant provisions thereof, cease to have effect from the date of publication of the annulment decision in the Official Gazette. In other words, when a law is invalidated by the Constitutional Court, it becomes ineffective as from the date of publication of the Court’s decision. If the Court deems it necessary, it may also decide to postpone the date of the entry into force of its decision. This date cannot be more than one year from the date of publication of the decision in the Official Gazette. According to Article 153 of the Constitution, the annulment decision cannot have a retroactive effect.
Judgments of the Constitutional Court are final. However, judgments of the Court when acting as the Supreme Criminal Court may be re-examined upon request. Annulment decisions cannot be made public without a statement of reasons (Art. 153).
No law can be in conflict with the Constitution. The Constitutional Court is given the power to interpret the Constitution and to invalidate the unconstitutional laws. The decisions of the Court bind legislative, executive and judicial organs, administrative authorities and persons and corporate bodies (Art. 153). In other words, legislative, executive and judicial branches have no power to modify or delay the execution of the decisions of the Constitutional Court.
In individual application cases, the Constitutional Court decides whether the fundamental rights of the applicant have been violated or not. If it finds violation, it may also decide what should be done in order to redress the violation and its consequences.
In case the violation has been caused by a court decision, the Constitutional Court sends the file to the competent court for retrial in order to restore the fundamental rights of the applicant. But if the Constitutional Court deems that there will be no use of a re-trial, then it may decide on compensation for the applicant or it may ask the applicant to file a case before the competent first-instance court to seek compensation for the damages s/he suffered.
9. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
The Constitutional Court of Turkey maintains constant professional contact with national and international courts. There is ample opportunity for such exchange when the justices of the Court visit their counterparts within and outside Europe and Asia and receive foreign delegations in Ankara.
The Constitutional Court of Turkey, being one of the oldest constitutional justice organs of the world, has always seen itself as part of the international legal order and the global community of constitutional courts. The Court has become a centre of interest in recent years due to its landmark decisions in the field of human rights and constitutional interpretation.
The Constitutional Court maintains constant professional contact with national and international courts. There is ample opportunity for such exchange when the justices of the Court visit their counterparts within and outside Europe and Asia and receive foreign delegations in Ankara.
Being the constitutional justice organ of Turkey, a country with unique geographic location, diverse cultural links and rich heritage of history, Turkish Constitutional Court is among the first members of both “Conference of the European Constitutional Courts” and “Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions”. The Turkish Constitutional Court is also one of the founding members of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which is an umbrella organization for all the constitutional justice organs and organizations from around the world.
9.1. COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
The Constitutional Court of Turkey attaches utmost importance to its relations with the Council of Europe, especially with the European Court of Human Rights and the Venice Commission (The European Commission for Democracy through Law).
A project titled “Supporting the Individual Application to the Constitutional Court in Turkey (SIAC)” is being implemented by the Ankara Programme Office of the Council of Europe under the coordination of the Constitutional Court of Turkey. This project is co-funded by the Council of Europe, EU and Turkey.
Among the stakeholders of the project are the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, the Military Court of Cassation, the Supreme Military Administrative Court, Union of Turkish Bar Association and Justice Academy. The overall objective of the Project is to ensure the effectiveness of the individual application system in Turkey.
The Constitutional Court has always been an active member in the global community of constitutional courts. The Court is member to the following international organizations in the field of constitutional justice:
WORLD CONFERENCE ON CONSTITUTIONAL JUSTICE
The World Conference on Constitutional Justice unites 104 Constitutional Courts and Councils and Supreme Courts in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. It promotes constitutional justice-understood as constitutional review including human rights case-law-as a key element for democracy, the protection of human rights and the rule of law.
THE CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS
The Conference of European Constitutional Courts, which was established in Dubrovnik in 1972, brings together representatives of 40 European constitutional or equivalent courts conducting a constitutional review.
ASSOCIATION OF ASIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS AND EQUIVALENT INSTITUTIONS
Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions, or AACC, is an Asian regional forum for constitutional justice established in
July of 2010 to promote the development of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Asia by increasing the exchanges of information and experiences related to constitutional justice and enhancing cooperation and friendship between institutions exercising constitutional jurisdiction.
Turkish Constitutional Court undertook the term presidency for the period between 2012-2014. As a member of the AACC, the Court has been organising the “Summer School” of the Association since 2013.
9.2. COOPERATION WITH NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS
In the last decade, the Court signed around eighteen memoranda of understanding with other constitutional and supreme courts in order to enhance bilateral cooperation activities. In this respect, the Court hosts foreign delegations, judges, researchers and staff members of constitutional courts with the spirit of traditional Turkish hospitality and friendship. Such Protocols of Cooperation serve as a basis for mutually beneficial exchanges that we organize with our counterpart institutions for the benefit of both parties.
55TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TURKISH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
Turkey had a ceremony on the occasion of the 55th Anniversary of the Constitutıonal Court 2017, in Ankara and İstanbul, for nearly one week.
The anniversary of the Court provided prime opportunities to evaluate the contributions of the Court to society and democtaric system. That was with respect to the contributions to a series of values including Justice, the rule of law and the fundamental rights and freedoms.
The Constitutıonal Court of the Republic of Turkey protects the democratic constitutıonal order and fundemental rigths and freedooms.
Turkey faced a devastating terrorist coup attempt that our country had ever faced before.
I would like to mention that there is no doubt that Turkish Constitutional Court is to ensure the fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals in the state of emergency period. Turkey is getting normalized and our Court has been exercising its vital role in the normalization period as in other times. There is no doubt that the application of decree laws will increase the number of individual applications before theConstitutional Court. That will deteriorate the situation regarding the already heavy workload of the Court. I am sure we will sort out this problem by employing effective means.
We, as the Presidents and Judges of constitutional or supreme courts, should be very well aware of the fact that if there is no democratic constitutional order, there would be no constitutional rights to be protected by these courts.
Thank you for your attention.