Criminal Law

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What is Crime? How Many Types of Crime Are There?

Criminal Law

We carry out criminal law cases meticulously within the framework of the Turkish Criminal Code, the Execution Law and the Code of Criminal Procedure and serve our clients at every stage.

Criminal Law answers the question of what Criminal Law is as a branch of law that examines the unlawful behaviors that constitute the crime and the sanctions related to these acts in all aspects.

Criminal Law is divided into two as material and formal aspects. Substantively, Criminal Law is divided into general provisions (TPC Art. 1-75) and special provisions (TPC Art. 76-345). This distinction is made directly according to the Turkish Criminal Code.

Criminal Law in the formal sense is the Criminal Procedure Law. The main Criminal Law legislation in this regard is the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Firstly, the sources of Criminal Law are analyzed in two parts: direct and indirect sources. The sources that are binding are called direct sources, and the sources that are not binding but help to understand the binding sources and are not directly applied are called indirect sources.

The primary source of Criminal Law is the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. In addition, international agreements to which Turkey is a party, such as the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Convention on the Extradition of Criminals, are also among the sources of Criminal Law.

The most important sources of Criminal Law principles are the Turkish Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. In general, the Turkish Criminal Code contains the basic principles and principles of Criminal Law, types of crimes and punishments. However, crimes and punishments are also regulated in many other laws. The Criminal Procedure Code, on the other hand, contains regulations on how all these issues will be applied in the investigation and prosecution phases.

  • The Principle of Legality in Crime and Punishment

Pursuant to the principle of legality, the offense and its corresponding punishment must be regulated only by law. This principle finds its basis in Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Turkish Penal Code. According to this article, no one can be punished for acts that are not explicitly criminalized in the law.

Another reflection of the principle of legality is that the law against the accused cannot be retroactive. This means that no one can be punished for an act that did not constitute a crime at the time it was committed, because the act was later criminalized.

Another condition under this principle is the prohibition of analogy to the detriment of the perpetrator. In case of a gap in the law, analogy refers to the filling of the gap by determining the most similar legal rule. Pursuant to Article 2, Paragraph 3 of the Turkish Criminal Code, comparison is not possible in Criminal Law.

  • The Principle of Fault in Crime and Punishment

Pursuant to this principle, in order to punish an individual for any act, the act in question must have been committed knowingly and intentionally. In this context, it is also established that only the perpetrator who personally commits the act can be held responsible for the act. This principle finds its basis in Article 20/1 of the TPC. Accordingly, criminal responsibility is personal and no one can be held responsible for the act of another.

  • Principle of Certainty

Article 2 of the TCK states that “No one shall be punished or given a security measure for an act which the law does not explicitly criminalize. It contains the provisions. Accordingly, the definition of crime should be clear and the sanctions related to the crime should be clear in a way that everyone can understand.

  • Prohibition of Comparison

The evaluation of an act that is not explicitly defined as a crime in the law within the scope of the crime related to another act that is similar to this act is called syllogism. Comparison is prohibited by law, and it is also not possible to interpret the provisions containing crimes and penalties in a broad manner to the point of comparison.

  • The Principle of Individuality in Crime and Punishment 

This principle means that no one other than the perpetrator of the crime can be accused and no one other than the criminal can be punished.

The principle of territoriality states that the criminal law of the state within whose borders the crime is committed should be applied, regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or the victim. Although this is the basic rule according to the TPC, there are some exceptions to this principle.

Prohibition of Retroactivity

According to this principle, an act is punishable only if it is regulated as a crime in the law at the time the act is committed. The fact that the act is regulated as a crime in the laws that entered into force later does not mean that the perpetrator can be punished for the relevant act.

According to the Turkish Penal Code, crimes are analyzed in four different groups in terms of the environment they are directed towards:

  • Crimes under International Criminal Law

Examples of these crimes include genocide, migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

  • Crimes against Persons

Bu suçlar ise, hayata karşı suçlar, vücut dokunulmazlığına karşı suçlar, eziyet ve işkence koruma, hürriyete karşı suçlar, özel hayata ve hayatın gizli alanlarına karşı suçlar, gözetim, yardım veya bildirim yükümlülüğünün ihlâli, çocuk düşürtme ya da kısırlaştırma, cinsel dokunulmazlığa karşı suçlar, şeref ve onura karşı suçlar ile malvarlığına karşı suçlar olarak kanunda yer almaktadır.

  • Crimes Against Society

These crimes are crimes that create general danger, crimes against public trust, crimes against the environment, crimes against public morality, crimes against public peace, crimes against family order, crimes against public health, crimes related to economy, industry and trade, crimes against means of transportation or fixed platforms and crimes in the field of informatics.

  • Crimes against the Nation and the State

The crimes within this scope are included in the law as crimes against the reliability and functioning of public administration, crimes against the security of the state, crimes against the judiciary, crimes against the constitutional order and the functioning of this order, crimes against the dignity of the sovereignty organs and signs of the state, crimes against national defense, crimes against state secrets and espionage, crimes against relations with foreign states.

The elements of the crime are divided into three elements: moral element, material element and illegality.

The material elements of the crime consist of the act, the result, the causal link, the subject, the perpetrator and the victim.

The moral elements of the crime consist of intent, negligence, combination of intent and negligence, and purpose and motive.

Soruşturma Aşaması

Soruşturma evresi, bir suç şüphesinin varlığı ile başlar. Savcı, topladığı deliller doğrultusunda suçun varlığına ilişkin yeterli şüpheye ulaşıldığını düşünüyorsa, iddianame hazırlayarak yargılama yapılması için mahkemeye gönderir. Aksi halde Savcı, kovuşturmaya yer olmadığına dair karar yani ‘takipsizlik kararı’ vermektedir. Kovuşturmaya yer olmadığına dair kararın tebliği itibariyle ise 15 gün içinde, kararı veren Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı’nın yargı çevresindeki Sulh Hukuk Mahkemesi’nde karara itiraz edilerek, kararın kaldırılması ve iddianame düzenlenmesi talep edilebilir.

Prosecution Phase

If the court accepts that the indictment meets the qualifications specified in the Code of Criminal Procedure and does not send it back to the Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation phase ends with the reading of the indictment at the hearing and the prosecution phase begins.

In the prosecution phase, the court conducts an investigation into the act and the perpetrator. With the aim of revealing the material reality, the judicial activity is carried out within the criminal procedure law. The general rule is that the prosecution is conducted with a hearing, publicly and orally. There are exceptions to this, and hearings may be held in closed session if the court orders confidentiality. A person who is a suspect in the investigation phase is tried as an accused in the prosecution phase.

The evidence collected during this phase is discussed before the court. After listening to the parties represented by the Criminal Law attorney, the court gives the last word to the defendant before the special provisions of the criminal law. Criminal law lawyers and legal representatives working in the relevant cases are persons who have an education level such as master’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal law.

In the event that a sanction is imposed by the court, the provisions of the criminal execution law will apply from the finalization of the judgment until the sanction is executed and terminated.

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Field Related Questions and Answers

This is determined by the Law on the Execution of Sentences, and for some offenses and sentences below a certain limit, there may be no imprisonment.

According to the Turkish Penal Code, insulting the president is a criminal offense and the prison sentence is higher than the simple form of the offense of insult.

KYOK is a decision by the prosecutor not to initiate a public prosecution due to the prosecutor’s inability to obtain sufficient evidence for a crime.

Certain crimes regulated by law, where the upper limit of imprisonment exceeds 10 years, are dealt with by the Assize Courts, while other crimes are dealt with by the Criminal Courts of First Instance.

It can constitute the crime of defamation both face-to-face and through articles written in the press and especially on social media

It refers to the postponement of the execution of the sentence and the disappearance of the sentence if no crime is committed within five years.

It is possible to appeal the decision within 15 days from the notification of the KYOK decision.

It is mandatory to be defended by a lawyer for a crime with a lower limit of imprisonment of more than 5 years. In other cases, it will always be beneficial to work with a lawyer in order to avoid loss of rights.

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