Security ‘put under risk by long arrests’

Security ‘put under risk by long arrests’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Security ‘put under risk by long arrests’

Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek. AA photo

Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek has echoed the prime minister’s charge that the lengthy detention periods of army officers has had an adverse effect on the fight against terrorism, arguing that the shortcomings of Turkey’s cumbersome judicial mechanism “cause national security problems.”

“Troubles in the judicial process cause both political tensions and security problems. With whom will we provide security for the country? This is the core of recent debates. Some troubles about the functioning of the judiciary cause national security problems as well,” Çiçek said in a televised interview with SkyTürk television.

“Arrest is a precaution, not a sentence,” he said, reiterating that arrests should not turn into a punishment or conviction. The problem is not stemming from laws, but is stemming from their implementation, he said.

The parliamentary speaker said the judicial control mechanism had the potential to resolve many of the existing problems concerning lengthy detentions.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the last judicial reform package contained all the necessary arrangements to allow army commanders to be judged without pre-trial detention.
“There is no need for a new measure in the new judicial reform package. I think that the mentality needs to change. Of course, it is up to the judiciary to decide on this issue, but as a prime minister who feels political responsibility, I had to express what I thought,” Erdoğan said.

Within days, the former Chief of General Staff, retired Gen. Hilmi Özkök, backed Erdoğan’s criticism of the judiciary on the long detention periods of arrested Turkish soldiers, arguing that “most of” the suspects were innocent.

Meanwhile, Çiçek also touched on the tension regarding the charter-drafting process that particularly escalated after Erdoğan’s vow on Jan. 30 to introduce his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) own constitutional proposal to Parliament if the ongoing process fails by the end of March.

“Let’s agree on points that we can. As for the points on which we can’t agree, when we reach that point, we can find some formulas by visiting the leaders [of the political parties] and by asking for the contribution of the public; there are opportunities to find [these formulas],” Çiçek said.