Nearly one in five Turkish citizens investigated in 2018

Turkey investigated nearly one-fifth of its population last year, a sharp increase from 2011, Milli Gazete reported on Sunday.

In 2018, Turkish authorities investigated just less than 20 percent (19.6%) of the country, or more than 13 million people, according to the Ministry of Justice. This marked an increase of more than 50 percent from 2011, when 8.2 million people were investigated.

More than a third of last year’s investigations (33.9%) ended without charges, with crimes against private property ranking as the most common charge made by prosecutors, at 27 percent, said Milli Gazete.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveiled a new round of legal reforms that aim to make the judiciary more independent, objective and transparent, and which he said reaffirmed Turkey’s plan to become a member of the EU.

The day before, the EU said in its annual report that Turkey had experienced considerable backsliding in the rule of law and the judiciary, as well as in fundamental rights.

The report said the enforcement of rights is hindered by the limited independence of public institutions responsible for protecting those rights and freedoms and by the lack of an independent judiciary.