Top board launches inquiry into 17 jurists on charges of acting in line with ‘parallel state’
ANKARATurkey’s top judicial body has launched an inquiry into 17 judges and prosecutors on charges of “acting in line with the aims of the parallel state structure,” referring to supporters of Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based preacher who was once a close ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The 3rd Chamber of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) launched the inquiry into 12 judges and five prosecutors, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Dec. 1. The prosecutors include Özcan Şişman, Süleyman Bağrıyanık, Aziz Takcı and former HSYK member Hüseyin Serter, who are already under arrest in relation to the probe into the controversial inspection of Syria-bound intelligence trucks in January 2014.
The judges and prosecutors are accused of being part of “the judicial branch of the Parallel State Structure [PYD] in Adana” and allegedly “making arrest decisions upon investigations through illegal wiretapping.”
The decision on whether to launch a formal investigation will be made after the drafting of an initial inquiry report. If an investigation is launched, disciplinary penalties could include dismissal from the profession.
The subject of the National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) purported arms deliveries to Syria is high on the news agenda in the wake of Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet on Nov. 24 and the arrest of daily Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gül on Nov. 26. Dündar and Gül are charged with collecting and revealing secret documents for espionage and supporting an armed terrorist organization, based on reports published in Cumhuriyet regarding the Syria-bound MİT trucks that were halted for inspection by prosecutors in January 2014.