Public officers get indemnity shield in FETÖ investigations

Public officers get indemnity shield in FETÖ investigations

Public officers get indemnity shield in FETÖ investigations

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Public officers tasked with carrying out administrative and disciplinary investigations into individuals with alleged links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) will be immune to remedial actions, according to a newly submitted omnibus bill, daily Habertürk reported on Aug. 8.

The regulation included inspection and control personnel tasked with carrying out pre-inspections, disciplinary investigations and administrative investigations into personnel over alleged FETÖ links. The regulation allowed opening indemnity cases only against administrations. 

The actions of any reporting as well as opinions and measures taken as part of the investigations will also be included within the scope of the legal shield. 

However compensation will be paid if any of these investigations were detected to be carried out with a grudge, hostility or based on favor, as well as carried out under pressure.  

Following the July 15 failed coup attempt, a number of dismissals and suspensions came at various state institutions including ministries, schools, universities and legal bodies in addition to scores of round ups within the army. 

More than 50,000 civil servants have been dismissed on suspicion of being linked to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in the wake of the coup attempt.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said a total of 3,000 judges and prosecutors would be appointed in November, adding there were a sufficient number of personnel to fill the spots emptied due to suspensions in the framework of the anti-FETÖ operations. 

“There won’t be any disruption or problems in the trial processes of our citizens. They won’t have a hard time. We’ve taken precautions regarding this issue. We had planned to appoint 1,500 judges and prosecutors in November. Upon the recent developments we decided to appoint 3,000 of them,” Bozdağ said in a TV interview. 

Elsewhere, Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz also commented on appointments, saying that 20,000 teachers would fill the spots emptied due to suspensions of teachers linked to FETÖ.

Continuation of reshaping top legal bodies

The immunity from indemnity cases for public officers investigating FETÖ-linked public sector employees is considered to be a continuation of the operation that was initiated before the coup attempt in the legal sphere.  

Early in July, parliament had approved a controversial law radically shaping the structure of the Supreme Court of Appeals and Council of State.  

The move was inspired by the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) bid to purge alleged members of the Gülen movement from critical judicial positions, but was slammed by opposition parties as yet another crude power grab by the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.