Turkey's emergency rule commission made more than 50,000 decisions: Official

Turkey's emergency rule commission made more than 50,000 decisions: Official

Sevil Erkuş – ANKARA
Turkeys emergency rule commission made more than 50,000 decisions: Official

An inquiry commission looking into state of emergency measures and appeals has made decisions for 50,300 appeals and accepted 3,700 applications, while rejecting 46,600 others as of Dec. 28, the chair of the body has said, stressing that commission members were in efforts to accept appeals, rather than reject them.

“Our priority is to make a decision to reinstate them to their duties, not rejecting the applicant,” Salih Tanrıkulu, the chair of the body, told Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 26.

The commission was set up on Jan. 23, 2017 by an executive order to investigate controversial state of emergency measures in Turkey and evaluate the appeals of civil servants dismissed, as well as the foundations and associations closed down with emergency decrees.

The number of applications submitted to the commission is 125,600. The body is examining the remaining 75,300 applications as its term has been extended for one more year. Those whose appeals were rejected have the right to apply to administrative courts in the capital Ankara within 60 days.

The commission was formed after warnings made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for accumulation. The 24,000 applications rejected by the ECHR, which cited the existence of the emergency panel, were sent to the commission.

Some 70,000 of appeals filed with the commission is from Constitutional Court decisions and 80,000 of them are from administrative decisions, Tanrıkulu said.

Elaborating on criticisms that the commission is too slow in finalizing the applications, Tanrıkulu said: “In the first five-six months we waited and did not make rulings in order to reach a fair approach for different cases. Therefore, the decision process for the applications has recently accelerated. We have completed 40 percent of the applications.”

Seen by Hürriyet Daily News, a digital database for each applicant is filled with documents provided by the applicant and with the reports provided by relevant state institutions.

The commission examines nearly 1,200 files each week and the commission members held daily sessions to cross-examine the information.

The main findings subject to assessments are whether the individuals used ByLock, an encrypted smartphone app used by members of FETÖ, made transactions via Bank Asya, which Ankara says implicates links to FETÖ, have work records affiliated with FETÖ, or a foundation, association, federation membership affiliated with the group, or provided financial support for FETÖ-affiliated institutions.

Most accepted appeals a result of false ByLock accusations

Most appeals accepted are those in which applicants were falsely accused of using the mobile application ByLock, Tanrıkulu said, with several mobile phones having been directed to ByLock servers without their knowledge when they, unknowingly, downloaded “Purple Brain,” another mobile application.

The inquiries are being carried out as to whether data concerning the banking transactions of the clients, such as depositing money, opening an account, and transferring money, was based on “real and economic reason” and whether such transactions constituted financial support for Bank Asya upon the instructions of Fethullah Gülen, the leader of FETÖ, after Dec. 25, 2013, he said.

The chair was referring to a deposit collection campaign in January 2014 and later organized by FETÖ members in order to support the financial structure of the bank.

The commission has developed an application for the assessment of money transactions of the applicants at local banks, particularly at Bank Asya, and commission members can view money transactions in graphics over the data provided by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency and other institutions.

As of Dec. 26, the total number of decisions on dismissals of civil servants (125,678), stripped off ranks and grades (3,483), and closure of organizations (2,761), according to the figures provided by the commission.

With most applications made by former civil servants working for the Interior Ministry, nearly 34,000 of the applicants are police officers, 34,000 are teachers and 15,000 are from the Turkish armed forces and the Defense Ministry.

FETÖ is widely believed to have orchestrated the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, during which at least 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 others were injured.