Media Association will support the EU project on media-judiciary relations

A European Union-funded project supporting the establishment of a system of spokespersons in courts in Turkey is launched on 25 September in Ankara. The event was attended by the Minister of Justice H.E. Sadullah Ergin, the Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, the German Ambassador to Turkey Eberhard Pohl and the Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Netherlands to Turkey Daan Huisinga.

Respect for freedom of the media is part of the Copenhagen political criteria that any candidate for accession to the European Union must uphold.  The media must be able to express itself freely, to inform the general public, and to report objectively, respecting the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial and to private life of the persons concerned.  It must therefore be well-informed. However, only recently have the Turkish courts begun to gain experience of dealing with journalists.

The Turkish Ministry of Justice will cooperate with the German and Dutch Ministries of Justice to draw on their experience in working with the media. Detailed studies and comparative analyses of best practices from EU Member States on judicial spokesperson systems, and a thorough analysis of Turkish legislation will be carried out.  Other activities will include:

The training of 200 judges and prosecutors and the designing and establishment of Media and Public relations offices in 5 pilot courts in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Diyarbakir and Adana. The Ministry’s Press Counsellor Office will be restructured.

Independent media professionals, particularly judicial correspondents, will be invited to devise a code of ethics. 100 judicial reporters will be trained on the European Court of Human Rights’ case law, the presumption of innocence, the respect of privacy of personal life, the right to receive information as well as on the balance to be found between freedom of information and expression and independence/impartiality of the judiciary.

The EU contribution is €1.6 million and the project will last 24 months, involving EU Member State public administrations and journalists.

Date/ Time:    25 September 2013, 09:30

Venue:            Ulucanlar Prison, Ankara