Erdoğan pledges reform in judiciary at new judicial year ceremony: report

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said his government would move forward with reforms to the country’s judicial system, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

“We are making preparations for new reforms to strengthen democracy. We are preparing a comprehensive human rights action plan. We are committed to ensuring a simple and effective operation in civil proceedings,” Erdoğan said during a ceremony at the presidential palace marking the opening of the new judicial year.

Citing a strategic judicial reform plan unveiled in May, Erdoğan said Turkey had shown a commitment to its obligations for full European Union membership with the document but that EU bodies “have an obviously discriminatory attitude towards Turkey.”

The president also vowed to implement the reform in a short period of time by simplifying judicial processes and developing alternative solutions for disputes.        

Turkey is on course to implement the Judicial Reform Strategy Document, a plan released on May 30 to improve the working of the nation’s judiciary.

“Independent functioning of the legislative, executive and judicial powers does not prevent them from liaising with the president’s mission in the [Turkish] Constitution as head of state,” Erdoğan also said. “We see this approach as a unifying force, not a threat to the separation of powers,” he added.

More than 50 bar associations boycotted the event, citing the independence of judiciary from executive power.

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