I would judge the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors if I had authority: Turkish PM
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a conference in the Western province of Sakarya, Dec. 27. AA photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would like to judge the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) over its stance against a governmental decree, if he had the adequate authority.
“From here, I am filing a criminal complaint [against the HSYK]. The HSYK has broken the law. They have violated article 138 of the Constitution by making a statement on [the change of the procedures of] law enforcement while a case on it was still continuing at the Administrative Court. Now I ask: who will judge the HSYK? Do you know who will do it? The people,” Erdoğan said during a conference in Sakarya on Dec. 27. “I would like to judge them, if I would have adequate authority.”
The HSYK said on Dec. 26 that the government’s initiative to change the procedures of law enforcement that obliges prosecutors and police chiefs to seek the consent of their supervisors before taking any action was unconstitutional. The Administrative Court annulled the decree the following day.
Erdoğan also took aim at Istanbul prosecutor Muammer Aktaş who harshly criticized the government for not allowing him to carry out a corruption operation allegedly worth 100 billion dollars. “Can a prosecutor distribute a statement in front of the courthouse? Can something like that happen? For us, this kind of a prosecutor is the black sheep of justice. How can you do this?” said Erdoğan.
“Now I ask the HSYK. I am also filing a criminal complaint about this prosecutor. What will you do or what did you do about this person?” he said.
Erdoğan continued his criticisms against the prosecutor and asked him “Who are you working for? If you do not explain it, we will release it.”
Erdoğan described the ongoing fight between his government and the movement of the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen as a struggle between old and new Turkey. He also depicted the current corruption operation as the final hurdle obstructing the government’s efforts to build the new Turkey.
“Turkey is at a junction: Either the old Turkey will continue or the new Turkey will prevail. The resistance is against the building of the new Turkey. But I tell you that this is the last resistance. They are offending for the last time. They are using all their means for the last time. With God’s help, we will demolish this resistance and we will close the doors to the old Turkey,” he said. “They will be not able to stop the building of the new Turkey.”
Another loser of this process will be the “chaos lobby” that includes international powers, interest lobby and those who are against the growing of Turkey, Erdoğan said. “We will move forward toward 2023. The interest lobby, the terror lobby will lose. We’ll become strengthened out of this process.”
Recalling that prosecutors were trying to launch a new corruption operation against the Turkish railway directorate, Erdoğan said: “Why have they hit at the railway? Because we are making a high-speed train.”
People protect their government
In an address to people in Sakarya later in the day, Erdoğan argued that the main target was his government and that the corruption operation was just a cover, drawing alleged parallels with what was done to Adnan Menderes, who served as prime minister between 1950 and 1960.
In a strong-worded criticism against the judiciary, Erdoğan said sovereignty belonged to the people and not to the judiciary. “Everybody should be well aware of his place in the Constitution,” he said, suggesting that the target of the ongoing operation as the people’s will.
Reiterating his rhetoric that “international powers” were behind the operation, Erdoğan linked the current development with the Gezi Park protests. “They weren’t able to be successful with the Gezi events. Now they are trying this. But they won’t be successful.”