The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, US-based organization that aims to advance the rule of law around the world. Its Rule of Law Index is the most comprehensive dataset of its kind and the only to rely principally on primary data, measuring 113 countries’ adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences.
There has been widespread concern that fundamental rights and freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey have significantly eroded since a state of emergency was declared after a failed coup attempt in July 2016, as reflected in Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World 2018,” which downgraded Turkey’s status to “not free.”
Turkey slipped two places on the WJP list this year to 101st, below Myanmar, Nicaragua, Madagascar and Nigeria. Turkey was nine places above Egypt and just 12 higher than the bottom-placed Venezuela.
The WJP’s report placed Turkey’s rule of law as the worst in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the second worst of upper-middle income countries, above only Venezuela.
The WJP decides on their ranking by each country’s performance across eight aggregated factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.
Turkey was ranked in the bottom tercile in six of these eight areas. The two areas in which it achieved an average grade were absence of corruption and criminal justice.
Turkey’s constraints on government powers were marked particularly poorly by the WJP, coming in 111th place, ahead of only Zimbabwe and Venezuela.
Turkey’s record on fundamental rights, too, was near the bottom of the list, in 107th position, one place above China and one below Bangladesh. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression achieved particularly dismal results in this category.
Denmark, Norway and Finland rank first to third in the Rule of Law Index.