The 50th Anniversary of the Turkish Constitutional Court was celebrated with various activities in Ankara and Istanbul between 25 and 28 April 2012.
Presidents, Judges and Experts of Constitutional and Supreme Courts from 57 countries from different continents of the world, and their spouses participated in the international symposium and social activities.
Opening ceremony of the 50th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey started with the oath-taking ceremony of new Court Members, who have been recently appointed to the Constitutional Court, Mr. Muammer TOPAL and Prof. Dr. Zühtü ARSLAN at 10:00 on 25 April 2012. Subsequently, the President Haşim KILIÇ (Turkish Constitutional Court), President Nicolas BRATZA (the European Court of Human Rights) and the President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Mr. Abdullah GÜL delivered opening speeches of the 50th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court.
International symposium on Movements of Rights and Freedoms in the 21st Century and the Role of Constitutional Courts was held at Ankara Rixos Grand Hotel. Presentations of invited countries were divided into 4 sessions and the first day of the symposium programme ended at 18:30.
The second day of the symposium started at 9.30 on 26 April 2012, another 4 sessions were held, and it came to an end at 16:30 with the closing speech of the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court Mr. Serruh KALELİ. During the symposium, cultural tour programmes were arranged for the spouses on 25-26 April who preferred not to participate in the scientific programme.
A cocktail reception was given to the guests in the Constitutional Court building at the end of the symposium and an exhibition of photographs taking the Constitutional Court from past to present as subject matter was strolled around. The invited guests had the opportunity to watch the performance of the State Folk Dances Group and the concert of modern music groups.
The foreign delegations participating in the 50th Anniversary departed from Ankara to Istanbul by a private flight on 27 April, accompanied by the Judges and Rapporteur Judges of our Court.
The delegations, after having visited Miniaturk, Dolmabahçe Palace and Bosphorus, found the opportunity to listen to the speeches made by the Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN and the former Prime Minister of Jordan Mr. Awn Al KHASAWNEH, after the cocktail reception held in Çırağan Palace in the evening.
The Blue Mosque was visited and after watching the performance and special concert of the janissary band of musicians, the first military band in the world history, at the entrance of Topkapı Palace, the Palace was explored by the visiting delegations. The guests found the opportunity to see the Museum of Hagia Sofia and Grand Bazaar.
The delegations having had a tour of the Bosphorus by boat moved on to Hagia Eirene for the gala night performance. Following the performance of State Opera and Ballet Group, the concert of Antioch Choir and the performance of the Whirling Dervishes, the activities came to an end with the address of thanks of the President of the Constitutional Court Mr. Haşim KILIÇ to the delegations having participated in the 50th Anniversary.