The Council of Europe has a well-established large-scale country-specific co-operation in Turkey. The Council of Europe is represented by a Programme Office in Ankara which co‑ordinates and supports project implementation and ensures co-ordination with both national and international partners present in the field. Most of the co-operation activities with Turkey have been undertaken via European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programmes and Turkey was for many years the biggest beneficiary of the technical co-operation with the European Union.
The assistance provided has contributed to advancements in the field of the judiciary, especially as regards individual applications to the Constitutional Court and in the fight against corruption. Funding from the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) has also yielded encouraging results related to mediation in civil disputes. Particular focus is also given to freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
Several country-specific European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programmes are currently being implemented in the field of justice. The support contributes to strengthening the institutional capacity of the Court of Cassation and to fostering public confidence in the Turkish judiciary (particularly in criminal and administrative matters) by enhancing its efficiency, effectiveness, independence and impartiality. The assistance also aims at strengthening the capacity of Bar Associations and lawyers on human rights and at improving the communication among them.
In addition, Turkey is also benefiting from a European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme to integrate a democratic school culture based on universal core values as well as fundamental rights and freedoms into the education system. The Council of Europe is also assisting the authorities to enhance the prison monitoring practices in Turkey thanks to funding from various voluntary contributions.
The co-operation with Turkey is further reinforced through the European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey to assist the authorities in meeting their reform agendas and in complying with the European standards. Within this framework, important steps are being taken to increase the institutional capacity of Turkish authorities to better implement and monitor the "Action Plan on Human Rights" in Turkey. Support is also provided at national level to foster a comprehensive institutional response to violence against women and domestic violence and to strengthen the human rights protection of asylum seekers, migrants and victims of trafficking with a particular focus on vulnerable groups, such as women and children. Moreover, actions are undertaken at regional level to fight economic crime.
Support is provided to strengthen the political will and sustained policy engagement of local authorities and empower local Roma communities through the European Union/Council of Europe regional Joint Programme "Promoting Good Governance and Roma Empowerment at Local Level (ROMACTED)". The capacity of the authorities to search, seize and confiscate cybercrime proceeds, prevent money laundering on the Internet and secure internet evidence is also reinforced thanks to the European Union/Council of Europe regional Joint Project on “Project on targeting crime proceeds on the Internet and securing electronic evidence in South Eastern Europe and Turkey – iPROCEEDS 2”.