am a victim of a crime, I want to file a criminal case!
The authority to file a case in criminal courts belongs to the
Public prosecutors. If you are a victim of a crime, upon your
complaint to the public prosecutor, he will conduct an
investigation and file a criminal case on behalf of the public
if he deems necessary.
Which issues cannot be complained to the Public Prosecution
The complaints made to the Public Prosecution Offices should
always be related to a crime. Civil cases such as payment of
rent, divorce or failure to pay a debt are not within the
competency of the public prosecution office. For those issues,
application should be made to the civil courts. It may be useful
if you consult to a lawyer thereon.
How to lodge a complaint?
A complaint is informing public prosecution office or law
enforcement agencies (police, gendarmerie) about the crime that
you have been exposed to, the name of the perpetrator/s, if you
know, and explicit declaration of your request concerning the
punishment of the perpetrator/s. It will be useful to bring a
petition describing the incident with you, but not compulsory.
What will happen if my complaint is not real?
The incident that you have complained should occur or the person
you have complained should be the suspect of the said crime in
reality, at least there should be reasonable justification for
you to think in this way. In case you file a complaint on
purpose on an incident which has not happened, you may be put
under investigation due to creating false charges and in case
you complain about someone who you know not have committed a
crime, you may be put under investigation due to libel.
What should I do ?
Civil cases are filed and resume upon the will of the parties.
However, criminal cases are initiated on a request made on
behalf of the public and the public prosecutor is the party of
the case on behalf of the public. Therefore, procedures are
simpler when compared to that of civil cases. It is sufficient
that one (you) notifies the crime to the authorized bodies. It
is not likely that you are deprived of your rights because of
the procedure as it is the case in civil courts.
Can I Participate in the judicial process?
Trial is conducted on behalf of the public in criminal cases.
However, the state entitles you to a certain extent to
participate in the trial process with the prosecutor since you
are the victim of a crime. If you file a complaint or
participate in the case, then you are entitled to be involved in
What is the Difference Between the Victim and the Complainant?
Victim is the person whose rights have been violated by
commission of a crime. The requests of the victims from the
state to punish the perpetrators is called complaint. Every
victim is not always a complainant. Therefore, this distinction
What Will Happen If I do not Complain?
Sentence of some petty crimes is based on the complaint of the
victim. However, complaint is not necessary in the punishment of
serious crimes. The perpetrator is sentenced even if the victim
does not file a complaint. However, the victim who does not
complain, cannot benefit from some civil rights.
Are Complaint and Notice the same?
Whenever a crime is committed, public order is distorted.
Therefore the public empowers the public prosecution office to
prosecute the crimes. Everyone may inform the law enforcement
agencies or public prosecution offices about a committed crime.
Complaint is a right granted to victims, however notice may be
filed by everyone. Complainant may participate in the trial, but
the owner of the notice has no right to do this.
What is Intervening to the Trial?
When a public case is filed, complainant may intervene in the
trial and may be a party to the judicial proceedings.
Intervention is a procedural transaction and it is conducted by
declaring your intention to the court. If the court approves the
request then intervener becomes party to the judicial
proceedings. For instance, the intervener may present a witness,
ask questions to witnesses via court, appeal the decision.
Intervention does not mean to be present at every hearing. It
means to be a party to the case in the procedural sense.
Is a lawyer necessary?
Public officials deal with the necessary transactions on behalf
of the victims or those affected by crime. If the victim or the
person affected by crime is a minor, deaf or mute, or mentally
disabled, a lawyer will directly be appointed for them. It is
always advantageous for you to represent yourself by a lawyer
but it is not compulsory. Victims of sexual crimes and of the
crimes that have a lower limit more than 5 years of imprisonment
may ask for a free lawyer from the bar provided that they have
an intervener status in the case. When the victim or the person
affected by crime is a minor, deaf or mute, or mentally disabled
and s/he cannot defend himself/herself, it is a legal obligation
that they are represented by a lawyer. In case they have no
lawyer, the bar appoints one for them. Fee of these lawyers is
paid by the one who loses the case or assumed by the state in
case of an acquittal.
How can you enjoy your right to conciliation?
The public prosecutor invites the perpetrator to public
prosecution office in cases where the law allows. He asks if the
perpetrator accepts the liability arising from the concerned
crime. In case the perpetrator accepts the crime as well as
paying the whole or important part of the material and moral
loss arising from the concerned action or compensating the
losses, you will be notified thereon. In case you accept with
your free will that your loss is compensated partially or
completely and declare that you reconcile, there will be no