Turkey’s highest court denounces speech by top lawyer that angered PM
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Zerrin Güngör, the head of Council of State, speaks during on the court’s 146th founding anniversary. AA PhotoTurkey’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, has issued a statement denouncing remarks from the head of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, Metin Feyzioğlu, on the court’s 146th founding anniversary.
“The speech included topics that were not related to administrative justice and lawyers and it disturbed our guests who did not have the right of reply, while also hurting the members of the host institution,” the statement said.
“[The speech] was unexpected, against the practices, and clashing with the significance of the day,” it added.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stormed out of a speech delivered by Feyzioğlu on May 10, accusing Feyzioğlu of being “rude” in a speech criticizing the government’s performance. Erdoğan became infuriated over Feyzioğlu’s criticizing the government’s failure to provide a permanent settlement to survivors of the 2011 Van earthquakes.
Rising from his seat to leave, Erdoğan interrupted the speech, saying Turkey’s highest lawyer had “no legal right” to say such things. “Unfortunately, because of the law, we give a platform to things like this. You’re making a political speech ... Everything you said about Van is a lie,” he said.
Sitting alongside Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gül attempted to calm Erdoğan down, but to no avail.
Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ also reacted to the speech, saying it was politically motivated.
“It is clear that [Feyzioğlu] has some political goals. He may have regarded the anniversary as an opportunity to achieve those goals,” Bozdağ said.
Speaking after the incident, Feyzioğlu described Erdoğan’s comments as “saddening.” “I’m saying, ‘let’s embrace each other.’ The prime minister stood up and made extremely saddening comments that superseded the limits of respect on an unfathomable level,” he said.