The Law on Making Amendment on the Criminal Code of Türkiye (TCK) and on Certain Laws regarding the prevention of violence against women and healthcare personnel was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force.
According to the law, limitation shall be brought on the reasons for discretionary reduction in the TCK. The unrepentant behaviors of the perpetrator shall not be accepted as grounds for discretionary reduction.
The perpetrator's formal attitudes and manners during the trial such as being attentive to his/her disguise and attire, wearing a suit and tie, shall not be taken into account as grounds for discretionary reduction. If discretionary reduction is applied, the reasons for this shall definitely be set forth in the decision. In order to combat violence against women more effectively and to ensure deterrence, the punishment shall be increased if the crimes of deliberate killing, intentional injury, threat, torture and torment have been committed against women.
IMPRISONMENT PENALTIES HAVE BEEN INCREASED
Commission of the offense of deliberate killing against a woman shall be included among the qualified cases of this offense. While the penalty for deliberate killing is life imprisonment, if this offense is committed against a woman, the penalty shall be increased to aggravated life imprisonment. If the offense of intentional injury which can be nursed with simple medical intervention, is committed against a woman, the lower limit of the penalty shall be increased from 4 months to 6 months of imprisonment. If the offense of torture is committed against a woman, the lower limit shall be increased from 3 years to 5 years of imprisonment. If the offense of torment is committed against a woman, the lower limit of the penalty shall be increased from 2 years of imprisonment to 2 years and 6 months of imprisonment. If the offense of 'threatening an individual to commit an attack on his/her life, physical or sexual immunity' is committed against a woman, the lower limit of the penalty shall be increased from 6 months of imprisonment to 9 months to imprisonment. If the subject of the offense of preventing the right to benefit from public services is health services, the penalty to be imposed shall be increased up to one sixth.
PERSISTENT STALKING HAS BEEN CRIMINALIZED
The acts qualified as persistent stalking shall be made independently criminalized. Penalty of imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years shall be imposed on a perpetrator who causes serious uneasiness on a person or making such person worry about the safety of himself/herself or one of his/her relatives, by persistently following physically or trying to contact by using communication and communication tools, information systems or trying to contact by means of third parties.
If the offense of persistent stalking is committed by a perpetrator (who has been restrained and prohibited to come closer to the residence, school or a workplace) against child or the spouse who has been separated or divorced, in a manner causing the victim to change school, workplace, residence, or drop out of the school or work, the perpetrator shall be sentenced to imprisonment from 1 year to 3 years. The investigation and prosecution of this crime shall depend on the complaint.
INTENTIONAL INJURY COMMITTED AGAINST WOMEN AND HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL SHALL BE ACCEPTED AMONG THE CATALOGUE OFFENSES
With the law, the offense of intentional injury against women and the offenses of intentional injury against the personnel working in medical institutions and establishments committed because of their duties or while they are conducting their duties have been included among the catalogue offenses.
In cases where the offense of intentional injury is committed against a person who is unable to defend himself physically or mentally or if committed with monstrous feelings, such actions shall also be considered among catalog offenses. Amendment shall be made on the article titled "Rights of the victim and the complainant" of the Criminal Procedure Code. With the regulation; the offenses of sexual abuse of children or persistent stalking and the offenses of intentional injury, torture or torment against women prescribed in the TCK shall be included within the scope of the article. Thus, during the investigation and prosecution phases, especially women who have become the victims of violence shall be able to benefit from the legal assistance and support of a lawyer who is going to be appointed by the bar association free of charge in case of such request from them, and they will be ensured to benefit from the legal remedies effectively. Reconciliation provisions shall not be applied in the offense of persistent stalking.
PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY BOARD TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR THE HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL
According to the law, the provisions of the Law on the Trial of Civil Servants and other Public Officials shall be applied on the investigations that are conducted due to the medical procedures and practices related to the examination, diagnosis and treatment performed by physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals working in public or private medical institutions and establishments and those working in foundation universities, within the scope of the execution of health profession.
The permission to investigate shall be given by the Professional Responsibility Board which was established under the Ministry of Health. The Board shall also be able to appoint the president or deputy presidents working in the provincial health directorates to conduct preliminary examinations regarding physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals working in public or private medical institutions and establishments and those working in foundation universities.
With regard to the compensations which are paid by the Administration to the concerning person due to the medical procedures and practices related to the examination, diagnosis and treatment performed by physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals working in public or private medical institutions and establishments within the scope of the execution of health profession, Professional Responsibility Board shall decide within 1 year whether the compensation be revoked from the concerning personnel, the amount of the compensation, whether concerning person misused his/her duty by acting contrary to professional requirements and the status of the fault.
It shall also be possible by the Law to regulate the members of the Professional Responsibility Board and their decision-making processes. This regulation shall not be implemented in terms of those who have been given definitive permission for investigation, and investigations or prosecutions shall continue.
With regard to the revocation cases which have been opened due to the compensations which are paid by the Administration due to the medical procedures and practices related to the examination, diagnosis and treatment performed by physicians, dentists and other healthcare professionals working in public or private medical institutions and establishments within the scope of the execution of health profession, a period of two months shall be given to the claimant to apply to the Professional Responsibility Board in order for the Board to render a decision in terms of those whose trial continues as per the date of entry into force of this article. If no application is made, the case shall be dismissed on procedure. In this case, the expenses of the trial shall be left on the parties and no attorney's fee shall be awarded against the claimant.
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