High judiciary warns of interest groups

High judiciary warns of interest groups

High judiciary warns of interest groups

AA photo

Supreme Court of Appeals President İsmail Rüştü Ciri has warned against groups substituting their own interests for the public’s interest, in an indirect reference to the Gülen Movement in the civil service affiliated with U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. 

Citing recent arrests, investigations and suspensions of prosecutors and judges in Turkey, the high court president said those cases cannot be “gratification for a state of law,” Cirit said on Sept. 1, speaking at the opening ceremony for the new judicial year. 

“But, there is no explanation for substituting the interests of any group or community in place of public interests,” he continued, adding some “saddening developments are not causes but results.”

He expressed an expectation to expose the truth in fair trials.

The high court president mentioned recent court files in which soldiers, academicians, civil servants, journalists and politicians were accused of being members of several terrorist organizations and said illegitimate practices were on the agenda of the Turkish society as well as in the international arena. 

The Turkish Republic should fight against threats in line with the law and general principles of human rights, Cirit said. 

He also proposed his court should assume the supreme criminal tribunal.

“There is more than one high court in our country and they don’t have precedence alignment. The duty of criminal tribunals should be given to the Supreme Court of Appeals,” Cirit said.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also slammed Gülen Movement sympathizers in the judiciary and said the biggest harm was made by “some groups which wanted to dominate the judiciary,” Erdoğan said, in a written statement to open the new judicial year.

“It was saddening for all that they made decisions in line with orders given by structures which they were members of instead of acting in line with their inner conscience,” the president stated. 

He pledged those who “use parallel structures in the state and terrorist organizations” would be disappointed. 

Erdoğan has been at odds with erstwhile ally Gülen and his movement, calling it the “parallel structure” within the state, since the start of a graft probe on Dec. 17, 2013. Erdoğan blames the Gülenists for their involvement in the operation that purged cabinet ministers and their sons.