In the Winter 2020 issue of the Fletcher Forum for World Affairs, POMED’s Turkey Program Coordinator Merve Tahiroğlu wrote the article, “How Turkey’s Leaders Dismantled the Rule of Law,” explaining how President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his political allies have targeted the judiciary in order to consolidate power.

Through purges, reshuffles, and legal restructuring over the past decade, Turkey’s ruling elite hollowed out and then co-opted the courts, systematically undermining the rule of law and nearly eviscerating judicial independence. Today, the largely subdued judiciary facilitates Erdoğan’s assaults on critics and opponents, who are held in unjust pretrial detention, subjected to sham trials, and denied legal remedies. In today’s Turkey, injustice is becoming the norm.

The climate of fear will be hard to unravel for years to come, Tahiroğlu writes.

“In order to regain citizens’ trust in the legal system, Turkey’s leaders must urgently work to restore the rule of law in their country.”

Read the full piece here.