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Prosecution Service Function within the Turkish Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 14 Issue: 2-3 Dated: August 2008 Pages: 353-368
Hakan Hakeri
Date Published
August 2008
16 pages
This article describes the national criminal justice system of Turkey, focusing on the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and its relation to police and courts.
Administrative offenses will be settled using administrative-procedures. Criminal offenses will mostly be noticed by the police first. In a normal case the police will act upon the suggestion of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to look for more evidence, by conducting interviews, collecting forensic evidence, and more. Also, crimes committed by juveniles first come to the police. However, the police must pass the case on to the PPS immediately. The PPS is bound by the principle of legality. However, since 2005 the PPS has gained more discretionary power to end a case independently. If the case cannot end using procedural alternatives, it must bring the case to court. The Turkish criminal justice system has traditionally been comprised of general and special courts. The general courts are: minor court, main court, and aggravated felony courts. There are three basic systems of criminal procedure: the accusatorial system, the inquisitorial system, and mixed systems. In the Turkish system, the criminal procedure has two stages: the preparatory investigation and the main trial. In the year 2005, the Turkish Criminal Procedure Code was reformed. Although modern tendencies in criminal procedure are to reduce the public prosecutor’s competences in Turkey, the powers of the PPS have increased with regard to human rights. So, the power of the police was reduced. However, since there are not enough public prosecutors in Turkey, the police still have much power in practice. In this article, the national criminal justice system of Turkey is described. Special attention is paid to the function of the PPS within this framework and its relationship to police and courts. Figure and references