Very curious about the justification of the dissenting votes

Very curious about the justification of the dissenting votes

The decision by the Constitutional Court on the release of jailed journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül was not a surprise. It is in line with the top court’s other verdicts on human rights matters.

Also, we know that when the Constitutional Court makes such a ruling, it opts for the protection of the freedoms drawn up within the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights. As a matter of fact, European Court of Human Rights judge Işıl Karakaş said this decision was the European standard. According to pro-government media, this decision was due to a portion of the Constitutional Court judges who are members of the “Fethullah Gülen organization.” 

However, what I am wondering about the most is the content of the justification of the dissenting votes used by three judges who argued there was no violation of rights in this case.  

How did they use such a vote, based on which case law and on what legal grounds? 

When the court issues its justification, we will learn about this. Saying anything before that time would be speculation.

As a final note, certain stories published in the pro-government media were based on information claimed to have been given by “inner sources.” These stories are about what a member demanded and how the chief judge turned down this demand. 

Frankly, I want to believe that these stories were made up in the newsroom. It sounds a bit weird to me that judges who have climbed up as far as being a member of the Constitutional Court would talk on the phone with journalists and convey the discussions held in the court like “gossipers.” 

Bill on military immunity 

A bill prepared by the Defense Ministry will be submitted to the cabinet. According to the bill, trial procedures for soldiers who are engaged in fighting terror would be changed. 

When soldiers are charged with overstepping their powers in using weapons while fighting terror, they would only be tried when the Prime Minister’s Office and Defense Ministry allow.

On one hand, it is debated whether the immunity of certain deputies in parliament should be lifted; on the other hand, the already existing immunity of public employees will be expanded.  

I do not know why there was a need for this, because there is no problem in the power to use weapons during the fight against terror. Security forces have the right to use weapons and defend themselves not just in cases of mutual armed clashes, but also when encountering crowds and armed people. 

It is not an appropriate stance of a state respecting the rule of law to create a kind of immunity for those using their arms in a way which oversteps their authority (in other words, using arms even though there was no situation requiring the use arms). 

In these types of crimes, security forces are already first protected by their superiors, and then by the courts. 

Extenuating the crime or covering it up are situations we come up with frequently. 

This being the case, if the permit of the Prime Minister’s Office and Defense Ministry is added, then it might create a situation wherein we are returning to the days of the “white Toros,” when this particular type of car was widely used in extrajudicial killings. 

For the security forces to stay within the law in fighting terror is the basis of legitimacy in this fight. Let us see whether the cabinet will guard this basic principle when it reviews this bill.