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HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy

Abstract

Turkey’s legal system was reformed significantly during the last decade, with the avowed objective of aligning it with European norms and facilitating the country’s accession to the European Union. On paper, Turkey now has a legal regime that is little different from Europe’s in terms of procedural safeguards and the rights of defendants. But the reality on the ground could not be more different. The author argues that the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials have been marred by severe violations of due process and the use of highly problematic evidence against defendants. Pro-government media have manipulated the debate in the country and prosecutors have acted in ways that are sharply at variance with European legal norms. These cases will, he argues, discredit the Turkish judiciary and set back the democratization of Turkish politics.

Citation

Rodrik, Dani. "Ergenekon and Sledgehammer: Building or Undermining the Rule of Law?" Turkish Policy Quarterly. May, 11, 2011.