Special courts see rising numbers of cases: CHP

Special courts see rising numbers of cases: CHP

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Special courts see rising numbers of cases: CHP

CHP deputy head Umut Oran is one of the two supervisors of the ‘Specially Authorized Courts’ report.

The number of suspects tried in specially authorized courts (ÖYM) rose greatly between 2002 and 2011, according to a recent report released by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

According to the report, the number of suspects tried in ÖYMs in 2002 was 8,000 and this figure jumped to 68,000 in 2011.

CHP deputy head Umut Oran and CHP Secretary-General Bihlun Tamaygil supervised the “Specially Authorized Courts – Regional Criminal Courts, What has and has not changed?” report, which was prepared in September.

According to the report, these courts are under the control of the “Gülen Community,” referring to Islamic scholar and prominent figure in Turkey’s political scene Fettullah Gülen.

The report said the majority of these courts and offices of public prosecutors were under the control of Gülen Community members and sympathizers and that the community had a distinct and decisive effect on judges and prosecutors there. The report also said this effect was reflected in judicial procedures and that this bias was a “known situation” that was generally voiced in public.

Up from 8,000 to 68,000
When the AKP took power in 2002, the report said, 8,004 suspects were prosecuted in ÖYM courts and this figure has climbed to 68,213 in 2011. It also said 20,000 people were tried in such cases as Oda TV, KCK, Balyoz (sledgehammer) and Ergenekon.

The report pointed out that eight deputies, more than 100 journalists, more than 500 members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), 771 students and thousands of politicians, local administrators and municipal workers were still under arrest.

In 2011, a total of 68,213 people were being investigated by ÖYMs and according to 2010 data, the average investigation period was 648 days, the report said. Only half of those who were investigated had public cases opened against them, the report said.

Four in 10 cases
Final verdicts for 75,687 people were issued, the report said. “Out of every 10 persons subjected to investigation, five of them went through an investigation of 648 days without any charges filed against them. When it is considered that out of every 10 cases opened, only four of them resulted in jail sentences, the violation of rights created by long detention periods is better understood,” it added.

Following lengthy debates and hectic polemics between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposition parties’ lawmakers, Parliament passed a judicial reform in June 2012 to abolish the specially authorized courts used for coup trials and the hearings of cases against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).