Prime minister made detention term vow to EU, says CHP head

Prime minister made detention term vow to EU, says CHP head

Hüseyin Hayatsever ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Prime minister made detention term vow to EU, says CHP head

A Republican People’s Party delegation, led by leader Kılıçdaroğlu (R), meets EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle (C). AA photo

Turkey’s government has promised EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle that it intends to shorten the country’s lengthy detention periods, the main opposition has said following a meeting with the commissioner.

Füle reportedly criticized the long periods of imprisonment without conviction when he spoke to Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in Brussels on Nov. 26, according to party sources.

The commissioner also described the negotiations between the European Union and Turkey on the latter’s accession to the bloc as a “disappointment.”

“The AKP [Justice and Development Party] government does not have a constructive approach toward the EU,” he was quoted as saying by CHP sources.

Füle called the CHP to maintain its contribution to the cross-party Constitution Conciliation Commission in Parliament, which has been tasked with drafting a new charter for Turkey.

“The CHP would make a great contribution to the freedom of speech and women’s rights,” the commissioner said, according to the sources.

Kılıçdaroğlu, meanwhile, focused on the judiciary’s transformation under 2010 constitutional amendments in the meeting with Füle, party sources said.

The CHP leader gave Füle a booklet in English titled “The Referendum of September 2010, Judicial Independence and the HSYK case,” which aims to illustrate CHP assertions that the government has taken control of top judicial bodies.

The booklet, penned by the CHP deputy Umut Oran, explained how the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) was transformed under a package of constitutional amendments approved in a Sept. 12, 2010, referendum.

The amendments “may be seen as more democratic than previous laws, but the HSYK lost credibility during the election of the new members,” the booklet said, adding that a list of candidates, referred to as “the Justice Ministry list,” was circulated among judges and prosecutors before the vote and that all who were laced on the list were eventually elected.

The booklet included quotes from Orhan Gazi Ertekin, the prosecutor who initially supported the amendments but later wrote a book titled “The Problem of Justice Is Resolved,” recounting how the government installed the candidates it favored at the HSYK.

“One of the most important statements showing the conditions and the perceptions regarding the HSYK elections is the statement of a senior and obedient judge: ‘I would vote even for a donkey if it were nominated by the Justice Ministry,’” Ertekin was quoted as saying.