Problems Relating to the Right to Information in Turkey

Problems Relating to the Right to Information in Turkey

Omur Aydin (Istanbul University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8350-9.ch007

Abstract

Traditionally, public administration has always preferred to work behind closed doors. However, the concept of participatory democracy, which developed especially after the 1950s, encouraged citizens to participate more in the decision-making mechanisms of the state. Turkey experiences many problems in exercising the right to information, which was enacted in 2003, arising from the administration's attitudes and behaviors and also from the legislation. Foremost among these are the fact that citizens have not been made sufficiently aware of this right and that the administration is reluctant to share information. An analysis of the data and statistics in Turkey shows a rising trend in the exercise of this right by citizens between 2004-2015. However, considering the size of Turkey's population, the rate can still be deemed low. Post-2015 figures show a radical decline in citizens' exercising of the right to information. This situation may be explained by the painful process that Turkey experienced from 2015 onwards and the state of emergency implementations that followed.
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Concept And Background

In its simplest sense, the right to information can be defined as the right to access the information that public institutions and organisations hold in connection with their duties. By means of this right, citizens can obtain information that they are interested in or are curious about, regardless of whether such information relates to them or to public administration (Loucaides, 1995, p.5).

Since the 20th century in particular, administrative authorities have influenced, regulated and led the daily lives of citizens more. This situation increases administrative authorities’ intervention in the lives of citizens and influences their rights and freedoms directly or indirectly. Judicial review of the administrative actions and acts of administrative authorities, which are so involved in daily life, is one of the most important necessities for the rule of law and for qualification as a democratic state.

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