The outgoing government of Turkey has initiated a major overhaul in military judiciary, with a decree also signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, changing the posts of 70 military judges and prosecutors.
The decree, signed by Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
and Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül, went into force after being published in the Official Gazette earlier this week, daily Cumhuriyet reported Aug. 28.
Accordingly, the chief prosecutor of the Military Supreme Court of Appeals, vice president of the Military Supreme Court of Appeals and president of 1st Chamber of the Military Supreme Court of Appeals have been replaced, while some members of the top military court have also been replaced.
The decree changed the places of duty for a number of military judges and prosecutors as well as judicial counselors in the provincial commands of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Judge and Senior Col. Mehmet Yüzbaşıoğlu, who was president of a military court that charged retired Brigadier General Zeki Es for his alleged role in a mine blast in Turkey’s eastern province of Hakkari, which killed seven soldiers in 2009, was also replaced.
Opposition parties have harshly criticized the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government making these types of structural changes in bureaucracy, mainly in the judiciary and police department, after the June 7 parliamentary elections that failed to produce a single-party government and at a time when the country is preparing to hold snap elections Nov. 1.