Judiciary report from yesterday
Here are the rulings of some court hearings from yesterday, July 18:
The demand to release Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), by his lawyers was turned down by an Ankara court on grounds that expert reports on the voice recordings of Demirtaş was not complete yet and the defendant could escape if released. Demirtaş has been in jail for nearly 20 months and is accused of helping and making propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Demirtaş ran for president in the June 24 elections despite being in jail. The case was adjourned until Aug. 28.
The demand to release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor living in Turkey, by his lawyers was turned down by a court in the western province of İzmir. Brunson has been under arrest for nearly 20 months, being accused of helping terror organizations without being a member and of collecting information for espionage purposes. Prosecutors are accusing him of being in contact with both the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the illegal network of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is being held responsible for masterminding the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey. Brunson’s case is a problem between Turkey and the U.S., and was brought up by U.S. President Donald Trump during his talks with President Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey recently. Two U.S. senators who asked to exclude Turkey from the joint production of F-35 fighter jets if Brunson was not released had visited Erdoğan recently in Ankara to repeat their demand for the pastor’s release. The case has been adjourned until Oct. 12.
An Ankara court ruled that Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu should pay 359,000 Turkish Liras ($78,500) to Erdoğan and some of his family members for failing to back claims he made in parliament about their alleged money transfers from Turkey to the Isle of Man to evade tax, considered as “insulting them.” Only a few days ago, on July 4, another Ankara court ruled that Kılıçdaroğlu should pay 50,000 liras ($10,900) to Erdoğan for insulting the president in a speech he delivered in a CHP congress. In the last eight years, courts have ruled that Kılıçdaroğlu pays a total of 822,500 liras (nearly $180,000) to Erdoğan for insulting him in speeches. Kılıçdaroğlu claims the situation is a product of the pressure put on courts by the “one-man rule” in Turkey, but says the decisions would not deter him. He has applied to the Court of Appeals against the rulings.
In the afternoon hours of July 18, Erdoğan’s lawyers announced that they put through an application with a chief prosecutor’s office against Kılıçdaroğlu and 72 other MPs of the CHP for sharing posts or commenting on social media about a banner with cartoons mocking Erdoğan carried by a group of students at the graduation ceremony of the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) recently. Four students had been arrested on charges of “insulting the president.” An Ankara prosecutor already opened a probe against Kılıçdaroğlu in the same case a few hours before Erdoğan’s application to the courts.