Ruling AKP deputy head lashes out at Istanbul governor over Silivri hearing announcement
KARABÜK – Hürriyet
The deputy head of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, Mehmet Ali Şahin, has lashed out at Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu for announcing that no one would be allowed to attend the critical Ergenekon hearing on Aug.5. DHA photoThe deputy head of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Mehmet Ali Şahin, has lashed out at Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu for announcing that no one would be allowed to attend a critical Ergenekon hearing, saying it was none of the governor’s business.
“This is not the governor’s business; this is the court’s duty. It is Istanbul’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office that should pronounce such decisions to the public,” said Şahin, referring to the announcement made by Mutlu on Aug. 2, about a case verdict announcement that is expected to be handed down Aug.5.
The Ergenekon case, which focuses on an alleged coup plot, is a significant legal battle that has been continuing for the last four years and two months. The case has seen hundreds of suspects detained and tried on accusations of attempting to overthrow the ruling AKP government.
Şahin said it was for the judges of a specific case to decide who would be taken into the courthouse, while the trial was continuing, adding that the governor’s duty was to take the necessary precautions if adverse events occurred outside of the courthouse.
“Therefore, everyone needs to careful. Everyone should try to do their utmost best within their demarcated borders,” Şahin said.
Recalling a closure case that was opened against the AKP a few months after the 2007 general elections, in which the AKP had come to power after winning 46 percent of the votes, Şahin said that although they were in power, they had not gathered in front of the Constitutional Court before the passing of the sentence, but instead waited with patience for the verdict.
“We trusted the judges and courts in Turkey. Everybody will also trust [them]. If one lives in this country, they will trust the judges and courts of this state,” said Şahin.
Şahin called out on relatives, party members, and sympathizers of those indicted in the Ergenekon case, saying the verdict should be anticipated with dispassionateness and quietness.
“It is not appropriate to attempt to raid the courthouse to make it dysfunctional, or at least to share this intention with the public,” said Şahin, adding that he hoped no adverse event would occur during the verdict announcement and that everyone would respect the decision.
Police squads raided several locations in Istanbul and Ankara, including NGOs and media bureaus, on Aug. 3 on allegations that a rally would be organized at the Silivri Courthouse during the trial’s conclusion. The home addresses of the Workers’ Party (İP) officials both in Istanbul and in Ankara, as well as of members of the Turkish Youth Union (TGB), a youth association affiliated with the party, and of some journalists at daily Aydınlık and broadcaster Ulusal Kanal, both linked with the İP, were searched while at least 20 people were detained.