Former Chief Justice of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, Hasim Kilic, lashed out at the ruling AK Party (AKP) for betraying original values of the party and accusing them of obliterating positive law and morality, according to a news report by the Sozcu daily on Friday.
Kilic, who retired in February 2015, spoke at the ‘Contribution to Fair Competition’ awards event on Thursday evening, hosted by the Competition Association in Ankara.
Pointing out that the ruling AKP has changed regulations of the Public Procurement Law at least 186 times, Kilic asked: “What is the reason for changing the law so many times?”
“Unfortunately, our friends [AKP] who came into power by emphasizing the importance of law and morality, have abolished both. Therefore, fair competition cannot be discussed [in Turkey],” Kilic said.
Zuhtu Arslan, head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, also gave a speech at another event, which marked the 57th anniversary of the founding of Turkey’s highest court.
He urged judicial independence and impartiality for the full function of the rule of law and democracy in Turkey.
“Judicial independence is a must for the democratic rule of law. Judges and prosecutors should reject any kind of influence or pressure that could have a negative effect on their independence, implicitly or explicitly,” Arslan stated.
Cigdem Toker, a columnist for the Sozcu daily, who received an award at the event, underlined that the history of journalism is a history of conflict between political powers who hide the facts from the people, and the journalists who struggle to uncover those facts.
“It’s so valuable for me to be deemed worthy of this award at a time when journalists, scientists, and legal experts spend a significant amount of their life in courtrooms and jails because of the words they utter,” Toker said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the main opposition, secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, were present at the event.
Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu shook hands but without a verbal greeting at their first encounter since the aftermath of the attack on the CHP leader during a soldier’s funeral last week.
Although one of the perpetrators of the attack was revealed to be an AKP member, Erdogan said there was no need for him to call Kilicdaroglu after the incident.
Following the attack in Ankara’s Cubuk district, President Erdogan made a public statement condemning violence.