Turkey to promote international image with English TCK

The translator of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) into English has said with the translation Turkey aims to promote its image in the international arena.

Turkey to promote international image with English TCK
The English version of the TCK was prepared by Associate Professor Vahit Bıçak and Barrister Edward Grieves. In an exclusive interview with Today's Zaman, Professor Bıçak, former chairman of the Prime Ministry Human Rights Council, stated that the translation of the TCK into English was completed in February and was published in September by Seçkin Publishing.

He noted that the translation of the TCK aims at promoting Turkey's international image, marred following the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and the killings of three Christians in Malatya. Bıçak said the English version of the TCK is the first of its kind. "It is true that certain provisions of the TCK were formerly translated into English, but it was not translated as a whole. Thus, our full version is the first of its kind," he commented.

Stating that his translation is divided into two volumes, Bıçak noted: "The first volume contains general provisions such as basic definitions, jurisdictional issues and general principles. The second volume deals with different types of offenses such as genocide, offences against humanity, types of killings and so on." Bıçak indicated that his translation was edited by Grieves, adding that it took six months to complete it. Upon a question over why he felt the need to embark on such a project, Bıçak answered: "The Justice Ministry asked me to translate the TCK, and I accepted this request with pleasure. My initial objective with such a project was to contribute to the better representation of the Turkish justice system in the international arena. We all know that the international community closely follows the Turkish justice and penal systems, especially after the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Dink and the killings of three Christians in Malatya. I believe that the English version of the TCK will help foreign jurists understand the Turkish justice system better." Bıçak stated that he stuck to the original form of the provisions throughout the translation process. "I paid significant attention to translate the provisions word for word because if you resort to interpretation while translating a document you unavoidably comment on it and it change the original makeup of the document."

Recalling that he went through very hard times throughout his study, Bıçak said translating the TCK was harder than he expected. "I am not a translator, but translation of a penal code is not something that should be performed by a translator because it requires a great deal of specialization in the field. As soon as it was published, I received very positive feedback not only from representatives of national institutions but also from the international community. I believe that we made up for a significant deficiency in Turkey with this project."

Bıçak also stated that the translation project could be used as a fundamental reference in annual progress reports released by the European Union on Turkey's progress toward EU membership. "Our project was closely followed by internationally renowned academics, and it was appreciated by jurists, researchers and representatives of national and foreign institutions. Until now, the Turkish penal system was misunderstood by the international community, particularly due to an absence of translation of the TCK as a whole and the repercussions of debates over the notorious Article 301 of the TCK in the international media. But from now on, I believe that foreign jurists will have the opportunity to revise our legal system and misunderstandings will be eradicated."

Upon a question over whether he would consider continuing with such translation projects, Bıçak noted he would like to translate the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMUK) if he finds a sponsor to finance this. "Such projects which aim at better representing Turkey in the international arena should be supported by the Turkish promotion fund."

Today's Zaman

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Aralık 2007, 14:52