• 04 June 2013

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    Category : Opinion

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    In an Episode of CSI

    On 19 April, the project to improve forensic capacities in Turkey came to an end. Two years of work to train a large number of specialists in a number of institutions in the most diverse, extraordinary disciplines. If there is one thing that has characterised this project it is precisely the fact that it encompassed many different areas of expertise.

    Engineers specialised in investigating impacts in traffic accidents, entomologists with expert knowledge of the organisms which cause the decomposition of bodies, anthropologists capable of making bones speak and geneticists who can identify suspects from the tiniest of blood samples, have alltravelled to Turkey.

    But this project was interesting not only because of the variety of skills involved. Quite apart from the fact that, on some of its activities, you had the impression that you were in anepisode of the TV series CSI, the numbers of the project are spectacular: Over 200 activities were carried out (which means virtually 10 activities a month). Over 2000 professionals received direct training. Some of them also trained as trainers, so they can now give other courses, spreading the results even more. A number of laboratories have certified some of its procedures with the very highest quality standards at European and world level. To make all this possible,we needed experts from 6 European countries, involving 17 institutions (universities and public administrations) and over 100 experts in explosives, ballistics, drugs, gender violence or psychiatry, to give just some examples.

    In short,a project that has efficiently invested 2 billion euros in improving Turkish forensics.

    But the main objective of this project is not just the immediate one of helping improve the institutions responsible for forensics.Projects of this kind would be of little use if they only benefited the institute in which we intervene. It is very important for us to ensure that the projects have a direct impact on improving the living conditions of the local population. This project will help Turkey to move towards the technical standards necessary for its future access to the European Union, but even more important is the fact that it helps to improve the quality of Turkish justice. And few things are so highly valued by citizens as a justice system which really solves their problems.

    But, despite all this, we have only just begun. The project has paved the way for intensified collaboration between Spain and Turkey on questions of Justice. The institutions in both countries are already drawing up an agenda of pressing matters for cooperation. In the sphere of forensic sciences, discussion has already begun on such important lines of cooperation as research into violence against women or the reconstruction of traffic accidents. And in June the Spanish Ministry of Justice will travel to Ankara to study these and other lines of collaboration in greater depth. We hope to accompany them along the road towards accession to the EU.

    Mariano Guillén
    Project Officer

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