Usual suspects: 6.9 million Turks were investigated in 2016, high court says

6.9 million Turkish citizens, about 8 per cent of the population, were suspects of criminal investigations in 2016, İsmail Rüştü Cirit, the head of Turkish High Court of Appeals was quoted by news website T24 as saying.

Providing annual statistics of criminal records for the year 2016, Cirit said, out of 6.9 million Turkish citizens investigated, charges were dropped for 2.9 million people, and legal proceedings were not pursued for a further 0.8 million for the lack of venue or lack of competence.

2.5 million citizens are standing trial after prosecution, Cirit added, and approximately 1 million citizens received fines or jail sentences.

During his address at the symposium “Pre-judicial alternative solutions” organised by the Law Faculty of Okan University in Istanbul, Cirit was quoted by T24 as stating the “structural problems” of the Turkish judiciary.

On both criminal and administrative jurisdictions, the courts of first instance, regional courts of justice and the appellate courts are under increasingly heavy workload. Such structural problems are not the fate of the Turkish judiciary, or the Turkish people. But after years of negligence, and given the low quality of justice services, some structural measures need to be taken at this point.