CHP furious over court’s refusal to release deputies
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul’s Silivri court refused to release 65 suspects currently imprisoned as part of the Ergenekon coup plot on July 27. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
An infuriated main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader has once more likened Silivri Prison to a concentration camp after an Istanbul court refused to release some 65 suspects currently imprisoned as part of the Ergenekon coup plot, including CHP deputies Mehmet Haberal and Mustafa Balbay.
“I have repeatedly stated that justice cannot be distributed at the Silivri concentration camp,” Kılıçdaroğlu was quoted to have said late July 27 by Anatolia news agency, as the court’s refusal was announced earlier that same day.
“There [in the court] are judges of the ruling party, but not judges of people. There are not judges who respect the national will. There are judges who are against the national will,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a fast-breaking dinner held in Ankara for foreign journalists from Muslim media outlets based in Turkey.
Release of deputies
“Mr. [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan had announced his opinions. He had said that there had been no demand for the release of the deputies. And these judges have been assuming that they became judges when they wore ‘the judge’s gown,’ [but] these are not judges. They are the stick for the ruling party. I’m not surprised. It was a truth that we had known. They’ve just fulfilled their duties. I guess Erdoğan is living one of the best days of his life,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
On July 11, Erdoğan said the third judicial package introduced no specific regulation to address the problem of arrested lawmakers. Erdoğan also said that recently enacted legal amendments were drafted so as not to interrupt ongoing cases.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also commented on the situation at a fast-breaking dinner hosted in Ankara by the Directorate General for Religious Affairs in honor of ambassadors of Muslim countries.
“Judicial control is not a new measure. It is an institution which existed in our law in the past too, whether to implement it or not is entirely an issue for the judicial appraisal. It is the appraisal of the court,” Bozdağ said.
Earlier this month, Bozdağ said judges should resort to arrest only as an exceptional measure in ongoing trials. His remarks had been interpreted as a green light for the release of lawmakers currently behind bars. Yet, his statement contradicted one Erdoğan issued only a few days later, which was referenced recently by Kılıçdaroğlu.
Reports about the July 27 hearing said Haberal fainted as the court’s verdict to reject the suspect’s release request was read aloud. The CHP deputy was treated by paramedics who were called to the court hall.