Judge suspended for comments on lawyer’s ‘skirt length’

Judge suspended for comments on lawyer’s ‘skirt length’

Judge suspended for comments on lawyer’s ‘skirt length’

The Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has temporarily suspended an Istanbul judge from duty after he criticized a lawyer for her “skirt’s length” during a hearing.

Judge Mehmet Yoylu on May 29 wanted to have lawyer Tuğçe Çetin’s picture taken for the issue to “be notified to the Istanbul Bar” on the grounds that the skirt’s length was “15 cm above the knee level.”

After the incident was heard, a group of lawyers gathered in front of the hearing room and protested Yoylu.

They then entered the hearing room, with some shouting “Women are waiting for an apology from you.”

One of the protestors was Istanbul Bar Head Mehmet Durakoğlu, who told the judge that they were expecting an apology. Shortly afterwards, Yoylu left the hearing room.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül also reacted against Yoylu’s behavior, calling the incident “unpleasant, unfortunate and unlawful.”

“It is, without any conditions, unacceptable that a judiciary member, who has been in the profession for more than 30 years, who should be exemplary for his successors, is preoccupied with not the case in front of him, but instead the lawyer’s attire. Our judicial system cannot allow anyone to be discriminated based on attire or lifestyle or be exposed to arbitrary treatment when distributing justice or looking for justice,” said Gül on his Twitter account on May 29.

The HSK group deputy chair Mehmet Yılmaz said that an investigation was launched into Yoylu and that he was temporarily suspended from duty.

“An investigation has been launched into the judge [in question]. The necessary step was taken for the inspectors to look into the case, but this is a process. After our inspector colleague has undertaken the [relevant] research, he has prepared and submitted a preliminary report to us,” said Yılmaz.

“Of course our meeting days are set in advance, we have ordinary meeting days twice a week, but we have summoned the [HSK] committee for this special and emergency situation. As a result of the extraordinary meeting, the evaluations were made, and by unanimous vote, we have for now, as per the law, suspended him,” said Yılmaz.

Yılmaz also said that the inspector will complete his final report regarding the case as a next step and then submit it to the HSK. “As per the final report, the [HSK] committee will, according to the final report, will discuss and give its decisions in line with the necessary disciplinary punishments,” Yılmaz said.