The joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Strengthening the Capacity of Bar Associations and Lawyers on European Human Rights Standards” launched on 13 September 2018, in Ankara, Turkey. The invitees include representatives of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations and local bar associations, Directorate for EU Affairs within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice, Constitutional Court, Court of Cassation, Council of State, Council of Judges and Prosecutors, Human Rights and Equality Institution, Ombudsman Institution, international organisations, embassies, universities and civil society organisations.
The opening speeches were delivered by Mr Ünsal Toker, Vice President of Union of Turkish Bar Associations, Mr Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights, Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of Council of Europe, Ms Simona Gatti, Head of Cooperation-Minister Counsellor of the Delegation of the EU to Turkey and Mr Selim Uslu, Head of Central Finance and Contracts Unit. Afterwards, Mr Daniel Schmidt, Head of South East Europe and Turkey Unit, Directorate of Human Rights of Council of Europe made a presentation on the expected Project outcomes and outputs.
In the final session, the key note speakers, Mr John Wadham and Mr Fahri Gökçen Taner, delivered speeches on the role of bar associations in the protection and promotion of human rights, and discussed the international and national experiences, lessons learned and forward looking approaches with the moderation of Mr Michael Ingledow, Head of Council of Europe Programme Office in Ankara.
The project aims to contribute to effective implementation of European human rights standards in Turkey, by strengthening the capacities of Turkish bar associations and lawyers in the implementation of the European human rights standards. It will last for 36 months and will end in March 2021.