AKP lost judicial database to Gülenists: Erdoğan
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to prevent the Fethullah Gülen network’s seizure of a key judicial information database system, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated.
“I am making self-criticism here: We lost a very important technology, an important mechanism, the [National Judiciary Informatics System] UYAP, to members of [the Fethullahist Terror Organization] FETÖ. They used this platform mercilessly for their insidious aims,” Erdoğan said on Jan. 10 in a speech delivered at a “Justice Congress” in the capital Ankara.
The UYAP is a large database that includes portals for lawyers, citizens, state institutions and police to share exclusive information regarding judicial activities.
The AKP had put the UYAP under focus after a large corruption probe in December 2013 targeted senior government figures, former ministers and state officials.
Sympathizers of U.S.-based preacher Gülen in the justice system were subsequently accused of using the UYAP to pursue the investigation. The AKP declared the Gülen network a “parallel state structure” and pledged to remove it from the police and the judiciary.
Following the July 2016 coup attempt, the AKP government accelerated efforts to “clear FETÖ from the state,” initiating a massive purge targeting members of the judiciary and others.
“Following July 2016, the judiciary was the institution that took the most determined and uncompromising steps to clear FETÖ members from within itself. As a result, over 4,000 FETÖ member judges and prosecutors were dismissed and the dark clouds hanging over this institution were lifted,” Erdoğan said.
Noting that judicial processes in the coup attempt cases are still ongoing, he accused FETÖ of aiming to “discredit judges and prosecutors” by “plotting against innocent people.”
Referring to recent revelations that over 11,000 people were mistakenly accused of using ByLock, an application seen as primary evidence of membership of FETÖ, Erdoğan vowed that “all victimizations on this subject will be rapidly compensated.”
“I believe the ongoing investigations and cases will be carried out in the same thorough manner to distinguish the innocent from the guilty,” he said.
The Turkish president also slammed various European countries and institutions for criticizing the AKP’s sweeping post-coup attempt purge.
“They question us whenever the Turkish judiciary tries to make a decision about someone who shares their ideology. They ask why certain people are in prison. But whenever something happens in your country, do we ask about why such a person is inside? Do we say: ‘Give this person back to us?’” he said.
“Those who staged a coup attempt in my country come to your country and you take these pro-coup people under protection, not extraditing them. And when you ask them, they say ‘this is justice.’ But they do not have justice. We shouldn’t fool ourselves. Justice is here,” Erdoğan added.