CHAPTER 24 JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND SECURITY

 

This chapter includes judicial cooperation in such areas as law enforcement officers, customs cooperation, visa, asylum, illegal migration, and fight against terrorism as well as criminal and civil matters. The Ministry of Justice undertakes responsibility for judicial cooperation in the criminal and civil matters (extradition, international requests, mutual recognition of court judgments and fight against organized crime) in relation to this Chapter. The Post-Screening Report prepared by the Commission awaits approval of the Member States. Although the draft report includes 4 benchmarks for the negotiations, there is no benchmark directly associated with the Ministry of Justice. The benchmarks of this Chapter are as follows:

a) Preparation of an Action Plan on Asylum and Migration

The Action Plan on Asylum and Migration was introduced in 2005. The Law on Foreigners and International Protection which has shaped the fundamental practices of our country in the field of migration and asylum and set up a Directorate General of Migration Management under the Ministry of Interior entered into force after being published on the Official Journal on 11 April 2013.

Draft Law on the Prevention of Human Trafficking and Protection of the Victims

The Directorate General for Migration Management was established by the Law no. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection published in the Official Journal of 11 April 2013 No. 28615 and “Protection of the Victims of Human Trafficking Department” was set up as a service unit within the Directorate General.

While the works related to the Draft Law on the Prevention of Human Trafficking and Protection of the Victims are under way, the “Regulation on the Fight against Human Trafficking and Protection of the Victims” which was planned to be issued based on the Law no. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection was finalized. With this Regulation, the Directorate General of Migration Management intends to make an arrangement which will regulate works and processes until the draft law is promulgated and will provide provisions in relation to the new system. The draft law is planned to be forwarded to the Prime Ministry within the month of November in 2014.

b) Signing of the Readmission Agreement between Turkey and EU

Readmission Agreement between Turkey and EU was signed on 16 December 2013 and came into effect on 01 October 2014, excluding the third country citizens, after the necessary approval procedure was followed.

In 2013, the dialogue on visa liberalisation was launched with the EU Commission for the Turkish citizens to acquire the right to travel freely to the EU 3-5 years later at the latest. The Law on Foreigners and International Protection assigns the duty of fulfilling the readmission agreements to the Directorate General of Migration Management.

Within the scope of the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue, four expert delegations visited and examined the relevant Ministries and public institutions under the titles of “Document Safety”, “Border, Visa, Migration, Asylum and Readmission”, “Public Order and Security” and “Fundamental Rights”. Following the examinations, the report prepared by the European Commission was published on 20 October 2014.

The report includes the observations made by the EU delegations in the visits paid to the relevant public institutions with the aim of examining the legislation, administrative structure, practices and capacity in our country; additional arrangements expected from our country in these areas as well as their recommendations. The reporting process will continue in the forthcoming period.

c) Adoption of the Strategy for the Fight against Organised Crimes

National Strategy Paper for the Fight against Organised Crimes (2010-2015) and the Action Plan on the Fight against Organised Crimes (2010-2012) was endorsed and came into force on 19 July 2010. As for the second Action Plan encompassing the period from 2013 to 2015, it came into effect on 02 September 2013. The action plan covering the period from 2010 to 2012 under the National Strategy Paper for the Fight against Organised Crimes (2010-2015) which was prepared by considering the EU acquis in relation to the priorities of our country in the field of the fight against organised crimes and basically aimed at reducing the organised crimes that dramatically damage economic and social interests of our people and individual and societal security to minimum was successfully implemented. The second Action Plan for 2013-2015 was prepared with the contributions of the relevant public institutions under the coordination of the Ministry of Interior and was submitted to the Prime Ministry. The Action Plan in question prescribes that Turkey must be a party to the Convention on Cybercrime.

The Convention on Cybercrime (No CETS 185) of the Council of Europe which was opened for signature on 23.11.2001 and came into effect on 01.07.2004 was signed by our Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Turkish Government in Strasbourg on 10 November 2010 after the relevant Ministries informed that the relevant national law requirements originating from the Convention were fulfilled.

Being the first international document as regards the crimes committed through internet or computer networks, the Convention was devised so as to make common definitions for the crimes committed in visual platform, harmonise the penal codes of the countries in this area, grant necessary authorities within the scope of the law of criminal procedures for the investigation and prosecution of the crimes addressed in the Convention and create an effective international cooperation regime.

“The Draft Law on the Approval of the Convention on Cybercrime” which was prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 19.12.2012 was adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 22.04.2014. The “Law no. 6533 on the Approval of the Convention on Cybercrime” was published on the Official Journal of 02 May 2014 No. 28988 along with certain drawbacks and statements. Pursuant to the Article 37/2 of the Convention, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of deposit of the instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Following the publication of the Convention, a Working Group that will evaluate the amendments to be made in the legislation in accordance with the Convention was set up under the Directorate General of Laws with the approval of Bekir Bozdağ, the Minister of Justice. It is planned to prepare a draft law that will include the amendments to be made in the legislation for harmonisation with the Convention. It is anticipated that the first meeting of the Working Group will be held on 05 December 2014.

Draft Law on Legal Assistance

Within the framework of the works which were launched to promote judicial cooperation and to ensure harmonisation with the EU acquis within the scope of the Chapter 24 and were persisted in order to devise a common Draft Law on Legal Assistance, the text of the “Draft Law on Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” has come to the final phase while the works for preparing the text of the Draft Law on Legal Assistance in Civil Matters are under way. The works are carried on within the scope of the 3rd Component of the Project of “Promoting the Effectiveness of the Turkish Criminal Justice System” (CAS).

d) Determining a Roadmap for the Implementation of the Action Plan on Integrated Border Management

Draft Law on Border Security

Turkey is liable to protect its borders in an appropriate manner according to the roadmap for visa exemption. To this end, the “Draft Law on Border Security” was prepared by the Ministry of Interior as regards the new structuring envisaged to be established in the future in accordance with the Integrated Border Management.

24. List of 23rd chapter acquis list

 


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