Racism more dangerous than pandemic: Top Turkish judge

Racism more dangerous than pandemic: Top Turkish judge


Racism and discrimination are notions a lot more dangerous for humankind’s future than the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey’s top judge has said, as many parts of the world, especially the U.S., are being swept by anti-racism protests over the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd.

“Racism and xenophobia are much more dangerous for humankind’s future than the current [novel coronavirus] pandemic. A universal society cannot be established with an approach that does not give people the right to live based on their [skin] color or faith,” Zühtü Arslan, the head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, said on June 9 at the swearing-in ceremony of Basri Bağcı, who has been elected as the new member of the top court in the capital Ankara.

The Constitutional Court’s main duty is to protect rights and freedoms, Arslan underlined.

“We need to think that people who are not like us, or do not think like us, have rights too,” he said.

“Justice is blind. It carries out fair judgement without looking at who the litigants. The neutrality of judiciary first necessitates its independence,” he said. He also added that the independence of judiciary has been underlined in the Constitution “very clearly.”

Justice is a very fundamental element of civilizations, according to Arslan. “With this, public order is ensured.”

“A law order that provides justice is a blessing for both the society and the state,” he said.

“A nation without law is a state without breath,” he added.

Underlining the rulings made by the Constitutional Court, Arslan said that 50 percent of the cases concerns fair judgement.

The top judge also said that Turkey ranks among the top when it comes to individual applications.

In 2019, about 43,000 applications have been made and nearly 40,000 of them have been concluded.