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Guide to Turkish Courtrooms

Started by admin, November 28, 2018, 11:01:58 PM

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Guide to Courtrooms

Layout of courtrooms

The place where the hearings are held is called
'courtroom'. In order to conduct hearings efficiently,
there is a pre-set order and all proceedings are
carried out according to a certain procedure. All
details are predefined: such as who stands where,
who takes the floor when, who are allowed to be
in the courtroom and who are not. You have to
abide by these rules for proper organisation in the

Who stands where?

The judge and Public prosecutor sits on the "bench".
Normally there is one judge but if it is a panel
there are three judges sitting on the bench. The
prosecutor sits on the right side of the judge. The
right side of the judge belongs to claimant (claiming
side or complainant) and the left side belongs to
the defendant (defending side or the accused). In
other words, if you stand in front of the bench, the
claimant is on your left and the defendant is on your
right. The clerk sits in front of the bench and keeps
record of the proceedings during the hearing with
the instructions of the judge.

Who talks where?

Witnesses testify from the bench which is situated
in front of the clerk. The accused who are not under
detention and the claimant and defendant in civil
cases have their own places. If they have lawyers,
lawyers sit next to them.
Everybody speaks standing up, but from where they
were seated. Only the witness speaks in front of the
bench because s/he does not sit in the courtroom.

Who talks when?

Hearings go on according to a certain procedure.
The judge lets you speak when necessary.
Therefore, you should not interrupt others' words
or speak without permission. In case you have
an urgent statement to make, you have to ask
permission from the judge. Standing up when you
speak shows your respect to the court.

Where do the witnesses sit?
To avoid possible influence from what may be heard
inside and have them tell the full truth, those who
will be heard as witnesses are not allowed in until
their turn comes. That is why there is no specific
spot reserved for witnesses. When the witness will
be heard, the court attendant calls him/her in by
name. Witnesses who give testimony could leave
the courtroom by judge's permission.

Is everybody allowed in courtrooms?
Yes, hearings are held publicly. However, in
some circumstances required by public safety or
morality such as cases concerning minors, sexual
offenses and so on, closed sessions may be held.
This situation is to be announced in advance, no
spectators are let in and those who are inside are
asked to leave the courtroom.