Turkey’s judicial reforms a case of a mountain birthing a mouse – opposition 

Judicial reforms proposed by Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have been labeled by the country’s main opposition as a case where “the mountain gave birth to a mouse.”

The Gazete Duvar news reported that Engin Ozkoc, deputy parliamentary group chair of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), made the analogy at a press conference at the parliament on Tuesday after meeting with Mehmet Mus, his counterpart from the ruling AKP, to learn about the contents of the new judicial reform package.

The plan to implement the Judicial Reform Strategy Document, which aims to improve the working of Turkey’s judiciary, was first unveiled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 30.

The first package of the document, consisting of 38 articles, has failed to meet the opposition’s expectations of “a liberal and democratic Constitution that is free from the coup law,” Ozkoc said.

“Mountain gave birth to a mouse. The package involves no regulations about people who are behind bars for expressing their ideas and people who were acquitted after their conviction was reversed,” the CHP MP outlined.

Ozkoc on Tuesday criticized an article that says people whose passports were revoked by a court ruling can only obtain it again, following their acquittal, after getting the approval of the Ministry of Interior.

“It’s not acceptable for the Interior Ministry or any member of the police force to be above the judiciary. If the judiciary acquits a person, his or her passport must be given back,” Ozkoc argued.

The lawmaker also underlined that they are not open to reducing sentences of those producing or selling drugs and that they demand heavier punishments for charges of violence and sexual abuse of women and children.

“Law experts from our party came together last night to work on the [first part of] the reform package. We’ll have a meeting with the AKP group tonight. The meetings will last until Friday,” Ozkoc informed.

He also emphasized that CHP members have gathered under the presidency of Turkish Professor of Constitutional Law Ibrahim Ozden Kaboglu to prepare a constitutional reform package of their own by the end of the week.

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