The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) recently hosted the National Association of Attorneys General and attorneys general from four states for a week-long program in Turkey. The delegation, cosponsored by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was led by Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler and included David M. Louie of Hawaii, Lawrence G. Wasden of Idaho, and Chris Koster of Missouri.
In Istanbul, the delegation discussed the development of Turkey’s new constitution and the structure of the country’s judiciary with President Abdullah Gul. During the meeting, President Gul also highlighted the strength of the U.S.-Turkey partnership and discussed the ways in which Turkey could be a model for developing democracies in the Middle East. The delegation then discussed the framework and procedures of Turkey’s criminal justice system with Professor Feridun Yenisey and Assistant Professor Didem Yilmaz while visiting Bahcesehir University Law Department at Armaggan.
In Ankara, the delegation conducted several high-level meetings with government officials, including the president of the Turkish Constitutional Court, the Ministry of Justice, the Turkish National Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several members of the Turkish Parliament. Each meeting allowed the delegation to learn more about Turkey’s judicial and parliamentary systems. The delegation then traveled to Patara, the birthplace of representative democracy, to see first-hand the inspiration for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The group was also given the opportunity to visit some of Istanbul’s most famous cultural attractions, including the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Namik Tan hosted a dinner for the attorneys general prior to their departure to Turkey.