Terror, coup suspects to wear uniforms in courts
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
All suspects and convicts under arrest for “crimes against the constitutional order” and for violation of the anti-terror laws in Turkey will have to wear single-type uniforms during court appearances, according to a government decree published in the Official Gazette on Dec. 24.
In another controversial change, civilians who were involved in the fight against coup soldiers on the night of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, and “the ensuing terror incidents,” will not be charged with any crime.
According to the decree, the defendants will either wear brown or gray uniforms during their court appearances.
The brown jumpsuits will be worn by those “attempting to abolish the order of the Turkish constitution by using force and violence, to replace the order with another one or to prevent the implementation of order” and “attempting to undermine the Turkish government by using force and violence or prevent it from performing its duty, partially or completely.”
The suspects in the trials regarding the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt and suspected members of the Fethullah Gülen network face such charges.
The gray jumpsuits, meanwhile, will be worn by those who “attempt to undermine the Turkish Grand National Assembly or prevent it from performing its duty partially or completely,” “armed rebellion against the Turkish government,” “assassination of and assault on the president,” “crimes against the security of the state” and “crimes against the constitutional order.”
That means those charged with terrorism and related charges will be required to wear gray jumpsuits during court hearings.
According to the decree, female suspects and convicts are exempt from wearing the uniform. The provisions of the article will not apply to children and pregnant women.
Those who refuse to wear the uniforms will lose their visitor privileges, according to the decree.
In July, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested suspects in the Gülen network probes might wear uniforms when they appear before a judge.
The suggestion came after a coup attempt suspect - who was part of a group that tried to assassinate the president on the night of the coup attempt - went into court wearing a t-shirt with the word “Hero” written on it, drawing backlash from the government.
The article that gives immunity to the civilians involved in crushing the coup has stirred reactions.
An earlier decree gave such immunity to the security personnel for their actions against the coup attempt, but not the civilians.
“Such a regulation is sending a message to Gladio and contra groups: You commit a crime and the law [to protect you] will follow,” main opposition Republican people’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu wrote on Twitter.