The simplified procedure has been included in the amendment made in October 2019 in the criminal procedure and is regulated in Articles 251 and 252 of the Criminal Procedure Code No. 5271. The main purpose of the simplified procedure, as it is understood from its name, is to shorten the trial carried out in terms of crimes with relatively lighter penal sanctions and to conclude the process with faster but legal and fair decisions.
Accordingly, with the amendment made in the Criminal Procedure Law, which regulates the procedures for the follow-up and execution of criminal cases, it has been decided to implement the simplified procedure in terms of certain crimes, and in this direction it has been regulated to skip some procedures and steps and to shorten certain periods which are assigned.
B- THE OBJECTIVES OF THE SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE AND THE EFFECT OF THE SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE ON FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
Before the simplified procedure has been regulated, the same trial procedure has been applied in terms of each type of crime in Turkish Law. This situation caused the trials to be unnecessarily prolonged and the criminal courts to spend extra labor and time in certain situations in terms of some crimes that were easier to prosecute due to those nature and lighter sanctions. It should be emphasized that the essential thing in a trial is to reveal the material truth and to determine, establish and protect the right. In line with this aim, the duration of the trial is slightly less a matter of concern. On the other hand, prolonged trials can both partially or completely eliminate the benefit to be obtained at the end of the trial or render them worthless by damaging the essence of the right, and leave the parties of the trial in uncertainty or even despair for a long time. This situation is explained briefly with the common saying that "Justice delayed is justice denied". As a matter of fact, in Magna Carta, which is accepted as the first Constitution or one of the first constitutional activities in history includes the statement: To no one will we deny or delay right or justice".
At this point, it should be noted that the essential thing in a trial is to reveal the material truth in the most reasonable time that can be objectively foreseen, without harming the essence of the right, and accordingly, the determination, the establishment and registration of the right. The equivalent of this principle in the trial is basically "Freedom to Seek Rights". The "Right to a Fair Trial" is one of the pillars of the freedom to seek justice. Accordingly, the completion of the trials in a reasonable time is one of the most important reflections of the right to a fair trial, and in this sense, it is an absolute right for individuals. On the other hand, in terms of the defendant, the "Right not to be Spotted" and "Presumption of Innocence" are another reflection of the right to a fair trial. In this respect, a trial that has lasted for years and dragged the accused who has the right not to be tainted in a maelstrom of uncertainty for years, sometimes results in a heavier sanction than the highest sanction regulated for the relevant crime. A similar situation sometimes causes more damage and more aggrievement in terms of the victim who applies to judicial remedies within the scope of the freedom to seek justice and waits patiently for the establishment of justice than the damage caused by the relevant crime itself.
However, in the criminal law, there are also "the Principle of Expression of Intent" and "the Principle of Directness" under the umbrella of the freedom to seek rights and the right to a fair trial which are essential for the parties to directly go on trial, transmit and discuss their claims, defenses directly and freely to judicial authorities. Both of these two principles emphasize the importance of conducting hearings at the expense of prolonging the trial period, in determining the material truth and establishing the right. A fair trial, a lawful and equitable result is only possible with a balanced establishment of all these principles. We are going to discuss the simple trial procedure in the light of these explanations.
C- IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE
As it is regulated in Article 251 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Procedure Law, it can be decided to apply the simplified procedure "in crimes that require a judicial fine and/or a maximum imprisonment of two years or less". The simplified procedure has no effect on the investigation phase. The simplified procedure is applied after the prosecution phase, that is, after the case is filed. That is why its name is "Simplified Procedure", different from the "Summary Procedure" applied during the investigation phase. However, it should be noted that, the court decides whether the simplified procedure will be applied or not in the final analysis, if the court comes to an opinion that it is possible to reach a conclusion with the simplified procedure in terms of the events subject to the crime, it is decided to apply the simplified procedure. In the simplified procedure, the accused, the victim and the complainant are not heard before the court, unlike the general procedure. The indictment is notified to the accused, the victim and the complainant, and they are asked to submit their written statements and defenses to the court within 15 days from the date of notification. In the notifications sent to the parties, it is stated that after the aforesaid defenses are received, if deemed necessary, a direct verdict will be made without a hearing. On the other hand, if there is evidence to be collected in this process, it is collected from the relevant institutions and organizations by the court. It should be emphasized here that the court does not take the opinion of the public prosecutor in the simplified procedure. As explained, what is essential here is to make a decision by gathering the arguments and defenses of the parties and the evidence as soon as possible within the prescribed time without conducting a hearing, however, even if the relevant offense is a crime that may fall under the scope of a simplified procedure, the court may not apply the simplified procedure if it is of the opinion that the court cannot conduct the trial without hearing the parties directly or even if the process is started with the simplified procedure, the court is able to conduct a hearing by switching to the general trial procedure.
Although the crime subject to prosecution is a crime where the simplified procedure can be applied, the simplified procedure cannot be applied in cases where there are cases of underage, mental illness, deaf muteness, or crimes whose investigation or prosecution depends on permission or demand. On the other hand, if more than one crime has been committed by the accused together and some of the crimes are subject to the simplified procedure, while the rest are not none of the crimes here will be subjected to the simplified procedure. In addition, as it is known, in the general trial procedure, the accused is asked if he/she wants a "Deferment Of The Announcement Of The Verdict" and as a result of the trial, if the objective and subjective conditions of deferment of the announcement of the verdict have occurred, the decision is made according to the request of the accused. However, in the simplified procedure, if the accused has not clearly stated "he/she does not want" deferment of the announcement of the verdict in his written defense or in a written statement to submit until the decision is made, the court may decide the deferment of the announcement of the verdict. In addition it should also be noted that in cases where simplified procedure is applied, a reduction of one fourth is made from the penalty determined by the court.
D-APPEAL TO DECISIONS MADE AFTER SIMPLE TRIAL
The decisions in the trials in which the simplified procedure is applied cannot be appealed, but only can be objected to the court that gave the verdict. If there is no objection within the legal period, the decision becomes a final judgement. In case of an objection, a hearing is opened by the court which gave the verdict and the trial continues with general procedures. If a hearing is opened in this way, even if the parties do not come to the hearing, the trial continue and a verdict is made. However, if the objecting party relinquishes their objection before the hearing day, the hearing is not held and it is deemed as not objected. At this point, if such an objection has been made, the trial is opened and the proceedings continue with the general trial procedure, the decision previously made according to the simplified procedure will not be binding for the court and the court is going to be able to establish a new decision in favor or against the accused. However, if the objection is made by persons other than the accused, the discretionary reduction of one fourth applied in the simplified procedure will also be applied to the penalty to be determined here.
If there is more than one accused in the case and not all of them have objected, those accuseds who do not object may also benefit from the decision if less penalty has been ruled as a result of the trial which is continued in general trial procedure after the objection of the other accused.
In case of objection to the decision made according to the simplified procedure, it is possible to apply for legal remedies against the decision made after the objection, since the proceedings continue with the general procedure.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.