By Gozde Bayar and Jeyhun Aliyev
ANKARA (AA) – The legal security is "the most important principle" in Turkey's groundbreaking new Human Rights Action Plan, designed as a response to the wants and needs of the Turkish public, the nation's justice minister said on Wednesday.
Abdulhamit Gul told Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk that the Human Rights Action Plan is a reminder not only to courts, judges and prosecutors, but to the public in every field.
"Since it concerns all our citizens, we have worked on the issue with all segments of the society," he said.
We will set our goals and open them to our nation's control, he added.
Turkey on Tuesday announced its new action plan on human rights, which has 11 main principles set to be carried out over the course of two years.
The new action plan is a step in the reform journey that the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has been carrying out continuously and uninterruptedly since the day it was founded in 2001.
"This is not a law text, but a goodwill document," he said, adding that it is not a text just for political parties, but for all people.
On the critics about the plan, he said they will examine all arguments "with great care" and treat them as constructive and serious criticisms.
He also said the electoral threshold has "no meaning anymore," referring to changes in political parties and election legislation.
There is a 10% threshold required for the parties to claim seats in Turkish parliament.
The plan is the main policy document for Turkey as the country prepares to mark its 100th anniversary. The document emphasizes property rights, vested rights, individual criminal responsibility and the presumption of innocence while also enhancing transparency, accountability and judicial independence and objectivity.
- 'Our citizens deserve the best'
Drawing to Turkey's EU membership bid, Gul said regardless of the EU approach, the country will continue to carry out its reforms with an attitude that "our citizens deserve the best."
Turkey has made "important preparations" for the EU visa exemption, he said, adding that if the EU "sincerely" contributes to process, the positive results will be achieved.
The 2016 deal allowed for the acceleration of Turkey's EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area.
Despite its EU candidate status, Turkey's progress towards accession has been stalled for years.