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Turkey

Neylan Ziyalar and Can Calici INTRODUCTION

Being that the country is located between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is important geopolitically. According to the results of an address-based population registration system, Turkey’s population is 78,741,053. Ninety-two percent of the country’s population lives in cities, with the median age being 31 years. Turkey has a majority youth population, and projections demonstrate that this trend will continue for the next 3 decades (TURKSTAT 2015a, b). The country suffers social problems such as educational-related issues, unemployment, and juvenile delinquency, similar to other countries with youth majorities. Current data shows that the number of children between 12 and 17 years old in prison is 2416, and one in three of them is convicted of theft (Republic of Turkey Ministry of Justice General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses 2016).

Turkey has had juvenile laws in place since 1979. However, the country did not see significant reforms in its juvenile justice system until it ratified the Convention on the Rights of Children in 1994. The Child Protection Law came into force in 2005 in order to provide protection for children involved in the justice system as perpetrators, victims, or witnesses at any phase of legal process.

At the same time, a new Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, as essential parts of new legal reforms of Turkey, were enforced. Although there has been a radical transformation over the last decade in the Turkish Juvenile Justice System there are still significant inadequacies, especially on alternative sanctions and probation services in practice.

This chapter will discuss the organizational structure and processes of the Turkish Juvenile Justice System. We include statistical information about juveniles involved in crime, the principles of juvenile law and the problems with its

N. Ziyalar (*) • C. Calici

Division of Social Sciences, Istanbul University Institute of Forensic Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey

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S.H. Decker, N. Marteache (eds.), International Handbook of Juvenile Justice, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-45090-2_24

application, juvenile courts, and recent reform efforts. The terminology of this chapter is based on UNICEF’S terminology for the Turkish Juvenile Justice System on UNICEF’s web site (UNICEF 2009).

 
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