A Peoples’ and Democracy Party (HDP) parliamentary deputy has urged members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to dump the current system and return the justice system to Turkey’s people.
Addressing at the Grand National Assembly’s Justice Commission meeting HDP’s Ahmet Şık told the AKP deputies of the commission: “You should return the justice system again. You have the power, authority and the majority.”
“If you really want to build a lawful and democratic state, go ahead, throw down the gauntlet, and then I don’t think that the opposition parties will develop any objection related to it,” he said.
Şık said the Turkish justice system had always been problematic: “This is a reality that each and every one of us is agreed on. In other words, this is the unlawfulness, which we generally make as a subject of criticism.”
“Unlawfulness” of the justice system
He made it clear that the “unlawfulness” of the justice system had not only happened during the rule of the AKP but he said “I have to emphasize that it (the unlawfulness) has never been so vile [as it is now]. The steep departure from universal justice norms never been so far as it is today. There was at least a courthouse, but there isn’t anymore. The first condition of being a law member is ‘submission’ rather than merit.”
Close the judiciary?
One AKP deputy jokingly asked: “What we are going to do? Will we close the judiciary?”
Şık promptly replied that the deputy had, in fact, come upon a solution: “Yes, we have to close this current justice system, and build a working judicial system instead.”
“Because of that, we have to take serious steps to solve the problem.”
He reminded deputies that after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the rights of Former HDP Co-Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş had been violated, some justice members had simply said the decision was not binding on Turkey.
“And six days after this, the regional court did not approve his release order, and the lawlessness continued, surprising to everyone,” he said.
Şık pointed out that case files prepared by members of the judiciary, who had been expelled or detained on the pretext of “being members of FETO” had been invalidated. Most of those cases related to corruption involving AKP members.
A pretext of being a member of a terrorist organization
“FETO” is an acronym for “Fethullah Terrorist Organization”, a term which is intentionally produced by Erdogan regime. The government of President Recep Tayyip has deemed all members of the Gülen movement, led by cleric Fethullah Gülen, to be terrorists.
Şık’s comments were made when the Justice Commission, made up of members of the Grand National Assembly, adopted legislative proposals that brings some changes to a host of laws including the ‘Bankruptcy and Enforcement Law’.
The amendments were proposed by the AKP as a means of reducing the workforce of the judiciary.
Turkey’s judicial system has been in the international spotlight, particularly since the failed July 2016 coup that saw 150,000 people taken into custody while 78,000 were formally arrested.
Turkey has frequently been criticised by the European Commission and Freedom House over arbitrary judgements dished out by a judiciary that is seen as pandering to the whims of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling AK Party.