Parliament tasked to fix mishandlings of special courts: PM

Parliament tasked to fix mishandlings of special courts: PM

Work on curbing the broad authorities of the controversial special authority courts is currently being carried out by the Justice Ministry, the prime minister has said, adding that the complete dissolution of these courts was also among possible options. 

“There is a problem with regard to article 250 [the Law on Criminal Procedures] … it’s Parliament’s duty to fix this,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters yesterday. “It was this Parliament that founded these special-authority courts. Now it’s within its authority to make amendments to them,” he said. 

Articles 250, 251 and 252 bestow upon these courts super powers to prosecute terror-related crimes, as well as coup attempts against the government, such as the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases. However, an attempt to prosecute the national intelligence chief without first seeking Erdoğan’s consent seems to have been a last straw. The government has received a fierce reaction from the Fethullah Gülen community, whose newspapers urged the government that its fight against plotters would be weakened as a result of this step. 

“Nobody should be disturbed about it,” Erdoğan said, underlining that the most important thing was the satisfaction of the people. “It’s Parliament’s duty to provide this satisfaction if the people are unsatisfied. This Parliament is for the people.” 

Erdoğan said special authority courts had been useful before now, but that there came a moment when they turned harmful. “We have to achieve the ideal implementation. We have realized many facts in the implementation process,” he said.

The prime minister added that the government was not planning to insert these amendments to the third judicial reform package, but signaled that this amendment could be postponed until October, when Parliament will be re-opened.