New appointments for justices of peace

New appointments for justices of peace

I have a request for my readers today. I will publish an extract from my piece dated June 30 titled, “On who’s side is justice?” It will be a repetition, but please read on.

In that piece, I had written about the criminal courts of peace that would be formed and how these courts would, from now on, decide on all search, capture, arrest, caution and objection matters. All investigations will now be conducted under these judges.

I wrote exactly the following in the June 30 column:

 “If the incumbent judges of the closed peace courts were to be appointed to these new criminal courts of peace then it would not have been possible, to a certain extent, to oppose them. However, these new justices of peace who will conduct investigations will be, back to square one, appointed by the First Department of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).

“Right after the Dec. 17 investigation, two members of the seven-member First Department of the HSYK were changed upon the request of the Ministry of Justice. Then, the First Department, contrary to its own appointment principles, made appointments in mid-winter.

“Finally, those judges and prosecutors who were in the ‘Summer Appointments Decree’ but who were not liked by the government were, again by the same department, re-appointed elsewhere, again violating their own clause in their own regulations of ‘serving a minimum of two years in one post’ and, what’s more, downgrading their positions.

“If these ‘justices of peace’ who will be making the most critical decisions in investigations are to be appointed with this ‘four against three’ voting structure, then the independence of the judiciary will suffer a major blow. For this, it will be adequate to find a few ‘specially qualified’ justices of the peace and appoint them to certain centers.

“The HSYK, both for its own reputation and also for confidence in the judiciary not to drop to unbearable levels, should take care to appoint non-politicized, honest and pluralist judges who are known not to have taken sides; and build confidence in the public. This is the professional debt of honor of the members of the HSYK.”

Who has been appointed?

Fifteen days have now passed… The HSYK has appointed 116 justices of peace to conduct investigations all over Turkey and six to conduct investigations in Istanbul.
Three of them are as follows:

Appointed to Istanbul’s Third Criminal Court of Peace is the judge who decided to release former Interior Minister Muammer Güler’s son, Barış Güler, who was arrested as part of the Dec. 17 graft operation; as well as businessman Rıza Sarraf, former Cabinet minister Zafer Çağlayan’s son, Salih Kaan Çağlayan, Özgür Özdemir and Hikmet Tuner.

Appointed to Istanbul’s Fourth Criminal Court of Peace is the judge who lifted the injunction imposed on the assets of the former Halkbank General Manager Süleyman Aslan within the context of the Dec. 17 investigation. 

Appointed to Istanbul’s Second Criminal Court of Peace is the judge who decided on the release of six people in the same case, including the former Halkbank General Manager Süleyman Aslan.

I don’t know who else has been appointed to other justices of peace positions. However, it is apparent that the bureaucrats of the General Secretariat of the HSYK have selected the most pro-liberal judges, after a very keen selection process, and they have been appointed by the First Department…
Well done, this is how an independent judiciary works!

“Allah doth command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due; And when ye judge between people, that ye judge with justice.” (An-Nisaa surah, 58.)