Have you heard it, 13 HSYK members are from the community?

Have you heard it, 13 HSYK members are from the community?

İSMET BERKAN iberkan@hurriyet.com.tr
You must have heard about the bill about the new Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) Law, a group of ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies signed and submitted to the Office of the Speaker of the Parliament? The bill was decided with the speed of light to be debated in the general assembly.

This draft law was explained thoroughly in all the papers Jan. 9. You already know why this bill, which suddenly renews the entire domestic management of the HSYK, has been needed. According to AK Party, 13 of the 22-member HSYK were from the “community.”

I wrote as a joke the other day that we should “import judges from Germany,” but now I should seriously suggest it: At least we should bring in members for the HSYK from countries like Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. Besides, they would not be from the “community.”

How does our government understand which of the people from security and justice bureaucracy, whose mustaches, outfits, silver wedding rings, even shoes look alike, are “from the community” or “pro-government”?

If you ask me, I think there is only one criterion: If they are involved in unpleasant and “the timing of which are meaningful” investigations, then they are from the community; if not, then they are not.
It is not easy either to understand whether a police or a prosecutor is from the “parallel structure,” however, it is easier to reassign them, to remove them from duty; whereas it is not so easy to do the same for judges.

For example, in order to remove 13 HSYK members who signed the communique against the amendment of the Judicial Police Regulation from their posts, a constitutional change is required. In other words, the HSYK election should be repeated.

Because the government cannot remove them, this time it is restricting their powers as much as possible. It is trying to make the board, if needs be, inoperable by changing the size of the quorum for certain decisions.

The government may just as well come up with a proposal very soon and say, “Let us go back to the old school HSYK with five members.”

When that day comes, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) would defend the Constitutional article it had voted “No” to before, and I will not be surprised at all if the government would dare a referendum to go back to the previous constitution article that it had staked everything to change.

While normal and ordinary methods are there…

I guess the debate on a re-trial has ended. The government, apparently, has given up searching for an alliance with the CHP or the General Staff against the community. And all of a sudden we have all together recalled ordinary routes.

For a case to be re-tried there has to be new evidence capable of altering the conclusion. I wonder if the General Staff has any document to prove the claim “They have fabricated fake evidence” in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case.

There is also something called individual application to the Constitutional Court. What if the Constitutional Court rules that the “examining the evidence” stage that was skipped in the Balyoz case was a fundamental violation of rights? Shouldn’t this path be tried?

Our law accepts “re-trial” as a method, not for the Constitutional Court, but for the European Court of Human Rights. I wonder if that method should also be made applicable for the Constitutional Court.

İsmet Berkan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published Jan 10. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.