TURKEY tr-national

Senior Turkish official: Everyone must obey court ruling

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 6/17/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Court decisions must be respected by all, senior AKP official Hüseyin Çelik has said following controversial remarks regarding the constitutional reform package.

Court decisions must be respected by all, senior Justice and Development Party, or AKP, official Hüseyin Çelik has said following controversial remarks regarding the constitutional reform package currently being examined by the Constitutional Court.

“You may not like the decisions of the high court or courts. You don’t have to like them,” Çelik said in an interview with daily Milliyet published Thursday. “But the decisions made in court bind everyone. Everyone must obey them.”

The AKP official’s comments come after Democratic Lawyers Association Co-President Osman Can said the Constitutional Court’s potential cancellation of some articles from the package could be ignored. Can said it would be unlawful for the court to examine the package according to its content rather than its form.

The debate hinges on reform articles that would change the composition of the Supreme Board of Prosecutors and Judges, or HSYK, and the Supreme Court itself. Some experts say the Constitution makes clear that the court may only inspect such articles according to their form and not their content, while others say the court has the authority to intervene if an article contradicts the Constitution’s first three “unalterable” articles.

“Right now there is an ongoing process at the Constitutional Court. I hope the court will make a decision that does not contradict the basic principles of the law or its own existence,” Çelik said.

Regarding the continuing debates, he said jurists were seriously discussing the issue and that he did not find that odd. “It was not the AKP that started the debates,” Çelik said. “In the end, you like the court decision or not, but you must obey it. That is the fact of the matter.”

Asked about claims that the court decision would plunge Turkey into chaos, Çelik said he was not expecting such a decision.

“Sometimes there could be malfunctioning sides in democracies but the remedy to this is again the democratic [system] functioning,” he said. “We should not condition ourselves to chaos. If you think nice [thoughts], you will have a nice dream. I am not pessimistic.”

[HH] Justice minister: ‘No juristocracy’

Joining the same discussion at a parliamentary committee meeting Thursday, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said there is a need to inspect the acts of the supreme judiciary, just as there is for Parliament and the government.

“Let’s oppose a parliamentary dictatorship, but let’s equally oppose turning this country into a state of judges,” Ergin said, suggesting that measures must be taken to maintain the rule of law without creating a growing juristocracy. “To do so, our constitutional reform package should be taken as a whole,” he said.



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