Turkey’s board of judges, prosecutors temporarily suspends four for ordering release of Gülen suspects
ANKARATurkey’s Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) announced on April 3 that it temporarily dismissed a court board and a prosecutor, less than a week after they ordered the release of some 21 suspects in a case into the media structure of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which is accused of orchestrating the July 2016 failed coup attempt.
HSYK Deputy Chair Mehmet Yılmaz told reporters that the Istanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court board head İbrahim Lorasdağı, its two members Barış Cömert and Necla Yeşil Yurt and prosecutor Göksel Turan were temporarily dismissed from their duties until an investigation into claims about them concluded.
“There are claims at the point of the fact that those releases are intentional, unlawful and did not comply with the truth,” Yılmaz said, adding that the final decision would be taken after HSYK inspectors finish their reports.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the decision was taken on the board’s own discretion.
“Suspending from duty does not mean dismissal. It is aimed at examination and investigation. HSYK will make a decision according to the results of that examination and investigation,” Bozdağ said in an interview with private broadcaster TGRT Haber.
The Istanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court on March 31 ordered the release of 21 arrested suspects out of 29, including singer Atilla Taş and journalists, who are allegedly linked to FETÖ’s media structure.
However, the Istanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court had accepted an objection to the release of eight suspects, later issuing an arrest warrant for them. The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had also launched an investigation into the suspects over the coup attempt and ordered their detention. The 21 suspects could not be subsequently released due to the objections on the same day.
In addition, Yılmaz also said HSYK dismissed another 45 judges and prosecutors as a part of the ongoing investigation into the foiled coup.
Over 4,000 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed since the attempted takeover on July 15, 2016, according to HSYK.
Separately, police on April 4 detained some 21 suspects among 41 who had been issued detention warrants in seven provinces as a part of an investigation into the FETÖ structure in the Supreme Court of Public Accounts, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Seven of the suspected personnel had previously been dismissed as a part of a decree law under the state of emergency while another 17 have still been working in the Supreme Court of Public Accounts, the agency said.
The detained suspects were later taken to police headquarters for their proceedings.
FETÖ, under the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, is accused of orchestrating the attempted takeover as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and the judiciary.