Turkish coup plotters to be tried in civilian courts: Justice Minister Bozdağ
AA photoEstablishing a special court to try suspects accused of plotting the failed July 15 coup attempt is not a necessity, Turkey’s justice minister has said, adding the trials will take place at civilian courts in the Sincan district of the capital Ankara.
“At this point, a special court is not needed. It is known which courts will try those who plotted a coup because a level of specialization has been achieved [among Turkish courts],” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on July 22, during an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk. The minister added they could consider not assigning additional duties to these courts in order to assist with their heavy workload.
A large courtroom will be needed to try hundreds of suspects and the trials will take place in the Sincan district of the capital Ankara, Bozdağ added.
“There is no way that legal cases with so many defendants can be heard at courthouses in Ankara. A space [is needed] for the defendants, their lawyers, observers and the relatives [of the accused]. It is obvious that we need a big space,” he said.
“As the [Justice] Ministry, we have taken the necessary measures and are continuing our efforts. The trial will be held within the boundaries of the Sincan district,” the minister stated.
Admitting that there were widespread fears the post-coup process could lead to a “witch hunt,” Bozdağ stressed that the judicial process would prevent innocent people from being punished.
“Anyone might have this fear. I have it too. Currently there may be information about some people, some may testify to police and others may be detained, but this process has just begun. The guilty will be separated from the innocent by the end of the decision-making process,” he said.
According to the latest figures reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency on July 22, more than 44,000 employees of state institutions have been suspended from their duties amid a nationwide probe into the coup attempt.
Some 44,530 employees of state institutions and organizations have been suspended from their duties over alleged links to the failed coup and U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating the attempt.
The Education Ministry announced that 21,738 civil servants working at the ministry had been suspended from their duties, 21,029 of whom were teachers, while the Defense Ministry said 262 military judges and prosecutors had been suspended from their duties.