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Turkey’s legal system was reformed significantly during the last decade, with the avowed objective of aligning it with European norms and facilitating the country’s accession to the European Union. On paper, Turkey now has a legal regime that is little different from Europe’s in terms of procedural safeguards and the rights of defendants. But the reality on the ground could not be more different. The author argues that the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials have been marred by severe violations of due process and the use of highly problematic evidence against defendants. Pro-government media have manipulated the debate in the country and prosecutors have acted in ways that are sharply at variance with European legal norms. These cases will, he argues, discredit the Turkish judiciary and set back the democratization of Turkish politics.

 

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Foreword Following the violent dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, there had been a shared sense of hope for a more peaceful future for the European continent. Unfortunately, this comfortability disappeared after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to march against the Ukrainian forces throughout the border on 24 February 2022. This marked a turning point not only for the...
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