Right to fair trial Turkey's leading violation, top court statistics show

The right to a fair trial has been Turkey’s most violated right over the past eight years, according to statistics from Turkey’s Constitutional Court.

Applicants’ right to a fair trial had been violated in 62.9 percent of the applications to the court, with a total of 9,103 rulings out of 14,204 rulings, Evrensel newspaper reported, citing the court’s statistics based on individual petitions filed between Sept.2012 and March, 2021.

In second place was the violation of the right to own property at 19.3 percent, followed by freedom of expression with 4.2 percent, the court’s statistics showed.

Freedom of conscience and religion constituted the least violated right, comprising 0.1 percent of the court’s violation rulings. 

The largest number of applications was received by the court in 2016, the year in which Turkey survived a failed military coup attempt that left over 250 dead, with a total of  80,756 petitions, Evrensel said.

In the aftermath of the failed putsch, the Turkish the government imposed a two-year-long state of emergency rule that gave President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government increased powers to detain suspects and purge institutions, and allowed the president to rule by decree for two years.

Turkey experienced considerable backsliding in the rule of law and the judiciary, fundamental rights, economic institutions, anti-corruption measures, media freedom and other areas followed the failed putsch. 

Freedom House has designated Turkey as “not free” in its “Freedom in the world 2021” report, releasedin March.

The index ranks countries on a variety of metrics including political pluralism and rule of law.  

Turkey scored 32 out of 100, unchanged from last year. Any country scoring below 34 is considered “not free”.

The second highest number of applications received by the court was in 2019, with 42,971 petitions, followed by 2017 during which 40,530, and 2020 when 40,402 applications were filed, Evrensel said.