According to a decree published in the Official Gazette last week, the Ministry of Justice is going to establish a Human Rights Department.
The department is going to obtain information, documents and opinions from related institutions on applications about Turkey filed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to prepare defences. Representatives will be sent to the sessions if necessary.
At the same time, the Human Rights Department will work on the elimination of human rights violations. In this context, required measures will be taken to execute decisions pertaining to rights violations ruled by the ECHR against Turkey. The decisions will be archived; the department is going to follow up the transfer of recourse and the process of the removal of the violations.
Moreover, projects on human rights will be organized in cooperation with public institutions and organizations; symposiums, seminars and trainings will be held.
Rights of detainees and convicts broadened
The decree of the Ministry of Justice also includes novelties related to prosecution.
According to the regulations on detainees and convicts, relatives of a detainee's or convict's spouse will be accounted for as first degree relatives, e.g. the in-laws. In the case of the death of one of the in-laws or a brother or sister-in-law, the detainees and convicts will be allowed a two-day leave (duration of the journey excluded).
Amendments for members of the judiciary
The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will send judges and prosecutors abroad to provide the opportunity to be educated abroad to become more efficient.
The number of judges and prosecutors at court will increase in order to speed up judicial services.
The probationary period will be reduced from two to one year for the duration of five years.
The minimum age for the transition from being a lawyer to becoming a judge will be raised from 35 to 45 years.
Vacant civil service positions in the Presidency of the Court of Appeals will be filled promptly.
The recess period will be extended and start from 20 July finishing on 31 August.
Rights of Physicians
The decree also included a section on physicians. It removed the regulation that allowed doctors to work at consulting rooms or hospitals after their eight-hour shift at university hospitals. The decree held that doctors who open their own consulting room will not be entitled to treat patients within the structure of the university or to get a share of its working capital. Hence, surgeon generals, rectors, deans and heads of institutes, departments and fields will not be able to open consulting rooms.
This regulation was also rendered valid for doctors working at the Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GATA).
Correspondent applications previously filed by the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) had been dismissed by the Constitutional Court.
Members of the Istanbul Medical Chamber protested against the decree on Friday (26 August) on the Galatasaray Square in Beyoğlu. (IC/MS/VK)