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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Briefing Paper - Implementation Gaps in Turkey's Domestic Law
Details for Briefing Paper - Implementation Gaps in Turkey's Domestic Law
NameBriefing Paper - Implementation Gaps in Turkey's Domestic Law
Description Entry to the European Union is predicated on the state achieving the political elements of the Copenhagen Criteria. Turkey 's domestic law, in its pre-accession state, fell short of these requirements and of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. In order to meet the criteria, the Turkish Government began in 2001, a program of legislative reforms designed to harmonize its domestic legislation with the Copenhagen Criteria and set out her progress to Accession.

At the heart of these reforms was a major overhaul of the Turkish Constitution, accompanied by seven packages of legislative reforms amending a number of pieces of legislation including major redrafts of the Turkish Civil and Penal code. These amendments were intended to liberalise the Turkish legal system, advance fundamental rights and freedoms and end years of states restrictions in a number of key areas such as torture and the freedom of expression; to address the security situation in the Southeast of Turkey and to promote the ideals of democracy and the rule of law.

KHRP believes that Turkey 's membership of the EU offers the only real and stable viable option for resolution of the Kurdish question. However, it is essential to closely monitor Turkey 's progress on both legislative reform and its practical implementation.

Since the opening of official EU Accession negotiations in October 2005, KHRP is concerned that a sense of complacency has pervaded the Turkish government's attitude towards full implementation of the reforms. This concern seems to be echoed at the European level. The European Parliament's draft report on Turkey 's progress towards accession released in June 2006 has criticised the pace of change in Turkey , deploring the limited progress on fundamental rights and freedoms, and has stated that there is an urgent need to implement the legislation already in force.

This briefing paper lays out a number of key areas that Turkey must still address if it is to meet with its international human rights obligations. Without pressure from the international community on Turkey to keep the promises it has made, the harmonization packages could become nothing more than Turkey paying ‘lip service to EU bureaucrats', and the human rights situation in the country will remain fundamentally unchanged.

Publication available for free from or +44 (0) 207 405 3835, or by downloading below.
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Created On: 02/03/2007 22:39
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Last updated on 02/03/2007 22:40
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