Head of bars union: Retrial efforts not overshadowing graft case in Turkey
The Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) Metin Feyzioğlu held a meeting with Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek on Jan. 9. AA photoA top lawyer who has been exerting efforts to effect the retrials of hundreds of military officers jailed for coup-plotting has strictly rejected that his initiative has overshadowed a huge corruption scandal that implicated the sons of three ministers last month.
“It has never been like that. If it were like that, we would tell sentences that would please a certain person or a certain segment and we would not say ‘We want fair trials for all of our citizens,’” Metin Feyzioğlu, head of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), told reporters after a meeting with Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek on Jan. 9, when he was asked about claims that he was showing off and misusing the retrial debate for his own political goals.
Feyzioğlu said it was also claimed that his attempts had been overshadowing the graft investigation which is now shaking the administration of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
He said it was his organization, the TBB, which took a governmental decree changing law enforcement procedures to the Council of State; the subsequent suspension of the execution of the decree by the Council of State fueled the government’s anger. Feyzioğlu also recalled that his organization displayed reactions against the massive purge at the Police Department.
“The duty of not letting this investigation drop from the agenda also belongs to all civil society organizations and, no doubt, to political parties as much as it belongs to us,” Feyzioğlu said.
Speaking at a press conference on Jan. 5 before departing for a tour of Asia on Jan. 5, Erdoğan said he would favor retrials for hundreds of military officers jailed for coup-plotting.
The prime minister’s remarks came after a weekend meeting with Feyzioğlu, who submitted proposals to clear the way for the retrial of jailed officers.
Çiçek was, meanwhile, yet again blunt in his criticism over the current dysfunctionality of the principle of the rule of law in Turkey.
“In consideration of the point that we have arrived at today, there are attempts to open a political channel about judicial issues from inside the judiciary and from outside of the judiciary; a policy is being formed,” Çiçek said as he was hosting Feyzioğlu and a group of Feyzioğlu’s fellow colleagues.