Eyes on results of decisive vote at top Turkish judicial body
ANKARAA key election took place Oct. 12 for naming the new members of the country’s top judicial body, which has long been the scene of a fierce battle between the government and what it describes as the “parallel state.”
The “parallel state” is the phrase the government uses to describe followers of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fetullah Gülen.
Almost 14,000 judges and prosecutors from the four corners of the country cast votes to elect 10 full members and six substitute members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). While 45 candidates from judicial courts joined the race, 16 candidates from administrative courts also competed in the election, for which intense security measures were taken. The ballot boxes were set to be opened after 5:00 p.m.
The Oct. 12 vote was the third round for electing the new HSYK members. In the previous two rounds, which took place at the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State, candidates who were reportedly close to the government were not elected as full members.
The body’s general assembly has a total of 22 members and four of them will be assigned by the president. The Justice Ministry chairs the HSYK, while the undersecretary of the ministry is assigned as a natural member. Following a constitutional referendum in 2010, the structure of the HSYK was reshaped.
In the run-up to the election, sources had said the government might consider a constitutional change on the issue if it cannot gain a total of 12 seats out of 22.