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Judiciary discusses ethics after Turkish prosecutor’s football passion leads to detainments

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) will discuss implementing a judicial code of ethics following a prosecutor’s alleged misconduct against 14 teachers over a dispute of time schedules on a synthetic football pitch, the Hurriyet daily reported on Monday.

Last week, a public prosecutor in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir, reportedly ordered the detainment of 14 teachers who were playing football on a rented artificial turf field, following a spat over the scheduled time slot. The teachers were released after a few hours of detainment and filed a complaint against the prosecutor, alleging misconduct.

The incident prompted a backlash from Turkey’s Ministry of National Education, with the Deputy Minister Mustafa Safran backing the teachers with a post on Twitter saying, “Teachers are not stepchildren of this country nor are they without protection. The detention of 14 teachers in Diyarbakır’s Cermik district has caused us much distress.”

Subsequently, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul announced that HSK has launched a probe into the incident. There is allegedly no code of ethics adopted by Turkish judiciary, therefore HSK will be looking into the Un Bangalore Judicial Ethics Code and the Budapest code.

Turkish citizens flocked to social media platforms following the reported incident, satirizing the current state of Turkey’s judiciary over the misconduct.

The occurrence had been received by many as the embodiment of the accusations on the arbitrary use of power that became prevalent after the failed 2016 coup.

Post-coup crackdowns saw the dismissal of more than 4,000 judges and prosecutors, allowing Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold sway over the judiciary, according to his critics.

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