Opposition leaders slam the judiciary

Opposition leaders slam the judiciary

Opposition leaders slam the judiciary

Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli speaks to reporters in Ankara. AA photo

Leaders of opposition parties in Parliament yesterday criticized the lengthy detention and trial periods in Turkey, while also showing solidarity with the lawmakers in prison.

“There is no state where there is no justice, we need justice in this country,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters in Silivri after visiting arrested CHP deputies Mustafa Balbay and Mehmet Haberal. “Turkey has turned into an open prison, there is no justice in the Silivri concentration camp, there are no judgments here and the trials are handled with bias.”

Also criticizing lengthy trial processes, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli yesterday referred to a recent ruling of arrest for MHP deputy Engin Alan, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison as part of the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case on Sept. 21, and was arrested again as a part of the ongoing Feb. 28 process probe in a ruling Bahçeli believes is “strange.”

Bahçeli’s remarks on the issue were in response to questions after he visited the tomb of former MHP leader Alparslan Türkeş.

“The ruling process is going on for too long, and from time to time we encounter some strange situations such as a detainees being arrested once again. We want these [incidents] to end as soon as possible,” Bahçeli said, after being invited to comment on the ruling concerning Alan.

“The extension of the trial process and the creation of too many debates over it is disturbing for our nation and with regard to the understanding of justice. We wish these [incidents] were ended as soon as possible,” he said.

On Oct. 22, as part of an investigation into the Feb. 28, 1997 “post-modern coup,” which refers to the harsh, army-led campaign that forced Turkey’s first Islamist prime minister, the late Necmettin Erbakan, to resign in June 1997, Alan was arrested on charges outlined in Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which concerns attempts to topple the government or obstruct its mission partially or totally by using force and violence.