SERVICES > LEGAL ASSISTANCE > CRIMINAL ROGATORY
I- GENERAL INFORMATION :

Definition: International rogatory (legal assistance) is the whole actions carried out by the competent judicial authority of a State on behalf of the judicial authority of another State. Rogatory proceedings are carried out within the framework of a bilateral agreement between our country and the concerned state or multilateral conventions, in the case where these do not exist, rules of international common law and principle of reciprocity.

Central Authority: Pursuant to the provisions of conventions on legal assistance and our legislation, Ministry of Justice acts as the central authority in the international legal assistance proceedings. This mission is carried out by the General Directorate of International Law and Foreign Relations within the body of the Ministry of Justice.

Proceedings that could be executed through international criminal rogatory:
a) Taking statement of suspects or accused persons or their interrogation,
b) Hearing of victims, complainants, interveners, witnesses or expert witnesses,
c) Providing information and evidence, providing originals or certified copies of relevant documents and records including bank records, accountancy information, company files and commercial documents,
d) For the purpose of gathering evidence, determination or surveillance of gain, assets, equipment or other matters,
e) Search and seizure, examination of articles and place for evidential purposes,
f) Execution of seizure or similar measures ordered by foreign courts,
g) Execution of penalty of imprisonment, fine, confiscation, exemption from rights or other criminal sanctions contained in the final judgments rendered by foreign courts,
h) Service of criminal decisions. (Service of criminal decisions are in the character of legal assistance proceeding but is regulated by a separate Circular. Please click for more information on criminal service of documents.)

Legislation:
a) Multilateral conventions:
Turkey is a party to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and the First Additional Protocol of the mentioned Convention. Criminal rogatory proceedings between our country and other 45 countries party to the Convention are executed according to the provisions of this Convention. Same states like Azerbaijan and Armenia which are not European countries are also parties to the aforementioned Convention. The United States of America is not party to the Convention; there is a bilateral agreement between our Country and the USA.
Texts of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and its First Additional Protocol, and reservations made by the states and list of the party states can be access via the following links:

The European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters
States party to the Convention
Reservations made with respect to the Convention
Explanatory Report on the Convention

First Additional Protocol to the Convention
States party to the First Additional Protocol to the Convention
Reservations made with respect to the First Additional Protocol to the Convention
Explanatory Report on the First Additional Protocol to the Convention

Other than the aforementioned Convention, there are conventions like European Convention on the International Validity of Criminal Judgments and European Convention on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters signed for the proceedings in the character of international criminal rogatory.
On the other hand, there are conventions like European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism containing provisions regarding this matter although they have not been prepared for international criminal rogatory.
Click to view the list of multilateral conventions in the matter of international criminal rogatory to which Turkey is a party.
Furthermore, all the international conventions to which Turkey is a party can be queried on the http://ua.mfa.gov.tr.

b) Bilateral agreements:
Criminal rogatory/service of documents proceedings with the states which are not party to the Convention are executed according to the provisions of the agreements that can be accessed via the following links.

The United States of America
Albania
Algeria
China
Morocco
Georgia
India
Iraq
Iran
Kazakhstan
Kirghizistan
Kuwaiti
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Lebanon
Macedonia
Egypt
Mongolia
Moldova
Uzbekistan
Pakistan
Rumania
Syria
Tajikistan
Tunisia
Turkmenistan
Jordan
Oman

c) Reciprocity:
Criminal rogatory proceedings with states with which Turkey has no contractual relation (Canada, Kosovo etc.) are executed according to the Principle of Reciprocity.

d) Law:
Not having a special law regulating the matter of international legal assistance, in our domestic legislation, criminal legal assistance proceedings are executed according to articles 8-19 of the Turkish Criminal Code and the regulations in the various laws.

e) Circular:

Basic principles of the criminal rogatory proceedings are introduced in the Circular No. 69/2 on “Matters to be Paid Attention by our Judicial Authorities in the International Criminal Rogatory Proceedings” of our Ministry of 16/11/2011.

Basic principles in the criminal rogatory arising from international conventions or practices:

Legislation of the requested country shall apply:

International practice and conventions stipulate that criminal rogatory proceedings should be executed in compliance with the ways provided for by the legislation of the party requested to provide legal assistance.
As a rule, expense shall not be imposed for criminal rogatory proceedings.
Criminal rogatory proceedings are executed without incurring any cost. However, if legal assistance requiring expertise and cost like doctor report, DNA analysis report, or expert report is requested, it should be written that expert witness fee will be sent after completion of the proceeding and the cost is informed, by referring to the article of the convention forming basis to the request on this matter.
Language for correspondence:

Criminal rogatory request should be made in the official language of the requested state. Therefore, as a rule, the documents to be issued should be translated into the official language of the relevant state accompanied by the Turkish copy.
   
***Click the links below to access other parts…
   
II-
PREPARATION OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL ROGATORY DOCUMENTS
   
III-
MATTERS TO BE PAID ATTENTION IN PREPARING LEGAL ASSISTANCE REQUEST FOR CERTAIN CRIMES
   
IV- MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE CONCERNING EXECUTION OF DECISIONS ON SEIZURE AND CONFISCATION AND RECOVERY OF ASSETS
   
V- MATTERS TO BE PAID ATTENTION IN THE ROGATORY REQUESTS OF FOREIGN STATES
   
VI- OBTAINING INFORMATION ON REGISTRY, CRIMINAL RECORD, ADDRESS, ECONOMICAL/SOCIAL STATUS AND ENTRANCE TO-EXIT FROM THE COUNTRY
   
VII- RETURN OF PASSPORTS TO FOREIGNERS
   
VIII- NOTIFICATION OF DEATH EVENTS OF FOREIGNERS
   
IX- INTERNATIONAL ROGATORY PROCEEDINGS IN THE CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE INTERNET ENVIRONMENT
   
 
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