Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Milano Başkonsolosluğu

Konuşma Metinleri

Padova Üniversitesi ile Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi işbirliği ile düzenlenen "Türk Ceza Hukuku" Konferansı, 13.10.2011

OPENING REMARKS BY MS. AYLIN SEKIZKÖK, TURKISH CONSUL GENERAL IN MILAN AT THE CONFERENCE “IL DIRITTO PENALE TURCO” ORGANIZED BY PADUA UNIVERSITY IN COOPERATION WITH BAHÇEŞEHIR UNIVERSITY

13 OCTOBER, 2011 PADUA

It is indeed a distinct pleasure for me to address at this conference co-organized by two prestigious academic institutions. I am very happy to see in Padua well-known Turkish Professors and academicians in the field of Criminal Law and Turkish Penal Code.

University of Padua plays an important role in scholarly and scientific research environment of Italy and Europe. According to the findings of various assessment committees, the University has the highest rank among the leading Italian universities for the quality of its research results.

As a higher education institution, Bahçeşehir University also provides an international education of the highest quality, and has established numerous partnerships as well as exchange agreements with other top universities in Europe and around the globe.

The relationship and cooperation between Turkish Universities and their Italian counterparts have been developing in recent years. They are establishing closer links of cooperation in various areas such as archeology, art, law and engineering.

This trend a further indication of ever strengthening ties between Turkey and Italy in every field from politics to trade, from culture to tourism.

I believe that academic cooperation in the criminal justice area is of particular importance and I’ll try to explain the reasons why it is so:

Criminal justice is directly related to three core functions/responsibilities of a state:

-To ensure security of citizens through deterring criminals from perpetrating offences;

-To serve justice by punishing perpetrators; and most importantly

-To protect human rights and freedoms while providing security.

Protection of fundamental rights and providing security are not conflicting goals; in fact, they complement each other. You cannot attain security by curtailing rights and freedoms.

In order to effectively fulfill these functions, a state must have a sound criminal justice system. The main pillars of a criminal justice regime are the Penal Code and Criminal Proceedings Code. Here, we are not talking about a simple process of passing a piece of legislation through the parliament. A penal code comes into being through a laborious exercise involving academicians, relevant government offices including the Justice Ministry, the practitioners such as the police, prosecutors and gendarmerie, as well as the parliamentarians. This has been exactly the case when the Turkish penal code has been totally renewed a few years ago, and I am very glad to see that one of the architects of our new Penal Code, Prof. Yenisey is with us today at this conference.

Criminal Law is a work in progress. It needs to be re-evaluated and revised in accordance with the ever changing conditions and the needs of our times. As such, cooperation between the law academies and governments is not a one-time, ad hoc business, but a constant necessity. We, government officials, always rely on the theoretical knowledge, up-to-date expertise and wisdom of academicians.

At this point, I would like to narrate to you an example of such cooperation based on my personal experience: Before assuming my duties as the Turkish Consul General in Milan, I worked at the Counter-Terrorism Department of the Foreign Ministry. Although Turkey’s Anti-Terror legislation is one of the oldest and well-structured examples in this field, there is still room for improvement. Terrorist-financing, for instance, is an offence that necessitates a renewed focus and new methods to tackle with. In order to better address this issue, we have formed an inter-agency group that included criminal law academicians along with the relevant government authorities and practitioners.

International cooperation is also a must in the criminal justice sector. Parallel to the process of globalization, crime has also become a transnational enterprise. In order to better cope with the challenge of transnational crime, governments feel an ever increasing pressure to harmonize their legal instruments at the regional and international levels. The EU experience is a case in point. Justice and Home Affairs sector, once considered as an exclusive domain for the national governments, is now becoming one of the areas of fastest integration and harmonization within the European Union.

We need much closer cooperation, exchange of ideas and best practices not only among governments, but also between criminal law experts and academies. Today’s conference at the Padua University bringing together prominent lawyers and talented law students from Turkey and Italy provides an important example for such cooperation.

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to thank again Padua University for organizing this conference and for their warm hospitality. I wish you a successful and fruitful meeting.