Turkish President Gül urges measures to accelerate trials
President Abdullah Gül speaks at a joint press conference with Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou. AA PhotoThe president has complained about the lengthy process of trials, which led to the release of some defendants, citing the Hezbollah case.
“Lengthy detentions turned into punishments. It’s not acceptable to not make a decision over such a long amount of time,” President Abdullah Gül said on March 11, speaking at a joint press conference with Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou.
Citing the Hezbollah case, whose defendants were released after over 10 years in detention, Gül said one should focus on trials in which courts had not given a ruling after five years’ time, even if perpetrators were arrested.
“The same applies to the case of the Council of State, in which the perpetrators were arrested even on the same day,” the president said, calling for necessary measures to accelerate judicial processes.
In the meantime, Gül warned to “be careful to avoid new pains,” in reference to the killing of Berkin Elvan.
Gül said he had talked to the governor of Istanbul. “I am sure they will give the necessary attention,” he said. He sent his condolences to Berkin’s family.
“I was saddened to hear of Berkin Elvan’s death. When it comes down to it, he was just a boy,” Gül told reporters, elaborating on former minister Zafer Çağlayan’s remarks regarding Jews, Greeks and Armenians, the president said the statement “cannot be approved.” Everybody should respect others’ religions and beliefs, he added.
CHP welcomes release of defendants
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has welcomed the release of scores of defendants convicted last year over an alleged coup plot, underlining that their freedoms were actually “seized.”
“We welcome the releases and celebrate our friends, honest politicians, patriots and journalists whose freedom was seized,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.