Turkey’s top court slams local court for not abiding its verdict
Turkey’s top court has urged that not abiding by its verdicts is a serious violation of the constitution while repeating its call for the retrial of former main opposition lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu in line with their two rulings, which have not been implemented yet.
In its reasoning published in the Official Gazette on Feb. 3, the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court explained that Berberoğlu’s right to be elected and right to personal security and liberty were violated by local court’s decision. It stressed the need for his retrial and ending his conviction and called on the 14th Heavy Penal Court to implement its rulings.
Berberoğlu, who was elected into the Turkish Parliament in June 2018 elections from the ranks of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), lost his seat after he was convicted on terror-related charges.
“Article 2 of the constitution that underpins the rule of law is not just about rhetoric. It’s out of the question to discuss the presence of rule of law in a country where courts, individuals and the bodies that use public force don’t comply with the law,” it said.
Article 153 stipulates the full implementation of the Constitutional Court and not abiding by the top court’s ruling is a grave violation of the charter, it stated.
The top court also called the parliament to take action in line with the court’s rulings and reinstate Berberoğlu’s status as a parliamentarian.
“Protection of the constitutional order is not only the Constitutional Court’s duty,” it stressed, referring to the responsibilities of the parliament and Turkish High Council of Judges and Prosecutors.
Şentop criticizes top court
Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop criticized the top court for issuing a political declaration.
Şentop admitted that the top court’s rulings should be obeyed, and the local courts should comply.
But it’s the first time that the court issues such a declaration, Şentop said.
“It’s not among the duties and responsibilities of the Constitutional Court. Giving instructions to the parliament is a clear violation of its authorities,” he added.
Şentop said that the parliament will send a written statement to the top court about the content of the Grand Chamber’s reasoning.