PM Davutoğlu meets judicial officers, discusses ‘parallel structure’

PM Davutoğlu meets judicial officers, discusses ‘parallel structure’

PM Davutoğlu meets judicial officers, discusses ‘parallel structure’

PM Davutoğlu and the 'Platform for Unity in Judiciary' pose before the meeting in Ankara, Sept. 3. AA Photo

In the run-up to the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) elections, which the government argues should be included within the framework of the struggle against the so-called “parallel state,” Turkey’s newly assigned Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held a lengthy meeting with a group of judicial officers to discuss the issue.

Speaking to reporters after the Sept. 3 meeting, on behalf of the group called the “Platform for Unity in Judiciary,” Abbas Özden, a public prosecutor in Ankara, acknowledged that the “parallel structure” was on the meeting’s agenda.

Özden said the group presented to Davutoğlu the results of consultations it has held with judges and prosecutors across of the country.

“We promised fellow judges and prosecutors that we would convey their demands to the Prime Ministry and the Justice Ministry and we would find a solution [about the issue]. We fulfilled this promise today. Our prime minister assessed our demands by also calling the justice minister [Bekir Bozdağ] to the meeting,” he added.

When asked whether the prime minister or the justice minister had specifically expressed any sensitivity over the “parallel structure,” Özden responded vaguely. “It has been taken as a matter for assessment. We had a meeting that went on for a long time,” he said.

“Concerning all of the demands that I mentioned, the prime minister personally conveyed them to the minister while we were there. They said they would start the required operations,” Özden added.

In order to break the alleged dominance of followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which it says are acting like a “parallel state” within the state and particularly in the judicial system and in the HSYK, the government has been trying to secure support from various ideological fronts within the judiciary, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Sept. 3. Accordingly, the government is also planning an amnesty for judicial officers’ disciplinary penalties and a pay rise before the Oct. 12 HSYK elections, Cumhuriyet also stated.

“We brought onto agenda the issue of an amnesty for disciplinary penalties. Thankfully, [the prime minister] will do what this matter requires,” Özden also said.