When justice is made a tool for politics

When justice is made a tool for politics

The appointment of a trustee panel to the Koza Group is a seizure; it is not juristic but political.  

The media outlets of the group will rapidly be converted into “pro-government” ones. We know, through the situation of the media organs today, the ones that the TMSF has seized before.  

If justice were trusted in Turkey and there were an impartial and independent justice, then this operation that the office of the prosecutor conducted based on the decision of a peace court judge would not have drawn so much reaction and been met with so much concern. 

When asked, former Deputy Minister Ali Babacan said this to Habertürk: “If this is submitted to the court, then we will all see how it will work. We do not believe this will have a permanent effect on the economy. There is a general trust issue regarding justice. The trust in justice has dropped to lower levels. This would not have been such a big matter in a country where trust in justice is high.” 

The fact that a respectable statesman as Babacan, when asked about the trustee issue, has drawn attention to the “trusting the justice issue” is extremely meaningful and on the point. Yes, if we had lived in a country where trust in the justice system were high, then the matter of “appointing a trustee panel” would not have been a big issue; it would not have drawn so much reaction domestically and internationally. 

With the “jigsaw laws” introduced one after another in 2014, with the staffing of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) with pro-government members and with the government making a tool of the justice system through its unbelievable pressures on the Justice Ministry, the government is currently experiencing a serious “trust” issue. 

Of course, I am exonerating the honest and conscionable judges and prosecutors who make up the majority. 

I have read the “expert’s report” that the appointment of a trustee has been based on. I do not know the experts; I am sure they are honest people. However, another panel of experts could have written just an opposite report. 

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has explained how trust in the experts’ practice in the justice system has eroded: “The experts in the legal system today unfortunately sometimes are open to abuse, causing trust issues. There are serious criticisms on the functioning of the experts system.” (April 17, 2015)  

The situation of experts in our country is in this state. Did we not see exactly the opposite in expert reports in the Ergenekon and “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) cases? When trust is at such “low levels” in justice, then it becomes easier for those in political power to use it for their own purposes. At the very least, widespread suspicions develop in the public. 

In 2001, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) seized Kentbank on the grounds that “the executives of the bank were jeopardizing the bank with their irresponsible and illegal activities,” and handed it over to the TMSF. The European Court of Human Rights regarded this operation as a violation of the right of property and fined Turkey. 

When I reviewed the ECHR judgment on its definition of the “right of property” and the principle to protect this right, then Koza Group’s seizure through the appointment of a trustee panel is a violation of the right to property.

Freedom of enterprise, one of the fundamental rights, has also been violated with the seizure of Koza. The most urgent matter is the violation of freedom of press during the election campaign. With the seizure operation, the oppositional media is being seized. 

When I say urgent, it is not without a reason. The Constitutional Court, on the Twitter ban, urgently ruled to lift the ban on grounds that it was “obvious that the shared news and thoughts will lose their immediacy with the passage of time and lose their effect and value.” 

What good it is when the wrong is corrected after the elections after inflicting heavy damage on 22 companies? 

Yesterday and today, those in power are using justice as a tool. Can peace and confidence exist in such a country?