We weren't there to be slapped, Parliament Speaker lashes at top judge

We weren't there to be slapped, Parliament Speaker lashes at top judge

We werent there to be slapped, Parliament Speaker lashes at top judge Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has become infuriated over the top judges’ critical remarks and called him to take off his judge’s robes and then participate in politics. The opposition parties, however, welcomed the judge’s statements and saw them as a lesson given to the government. 

“These things cannot be done while wearing judge’s robes. If he wants, he can take them [the robes] off and engage in politics,” Mustafa Şentop, deputy leader of the AKP told reporters April 25. Şentop described Haşim Kılıç’s assessments on rule of law as “shallow and inappropriate.” 

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, however, also criticized Kılıç’s statement, saying nobody was there to be “scolded and to be slapped.” 

“The manner did not befit the [head of] judiciary. No one was there to be scolded or slapped,” Çiçek told reporters, adding that expressions such as “changing shirts” were politically charged. “These are not appropriate words to use on the foundation day of the high court, even if these are your personal opinions,” he said.

The opposition parties welcomed Kılıç’s statement. “The Head of the Constitutional Court did not take his judge’s robes off, but he lectured the government with them,” Engin Altay, deputy leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told reporters. Altay said this statement was in fact an outcry against those who raped the judiciary and blamed the government as the main source of undermining the principle of rule of law and separation of powers.

In the absence of the principle of the rule of law, anarchy can flare up on the streets and within the state and Kılıç drew the attention to this potential, Altay stressed, adding hearing the views that the CHP has been voicing at Parliament was proving the opposition party correct.

Kılıç will be lynched: MHP

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Ankara Deputy Özcan Yeniçeri argued the government will launch a lynch campaign against Kılıç after his statement and will regard the Constitutional Court as part of what the government describes the “parallel state.”

Welcoming Kılıç’s remarks as right and consistent, Yeniçeri accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of degrading the justice’s trust in the eyes of the people. “If you remove justice, then you destroy the state. It should be the government that should pay utmost care to justice,” he said. 

Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chairperson of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) welcomed Kılıç’s words, stressing “The head of the Constitutional Court has said what he should say. The main problem, however, is the accusations made by Erdoğan against the court.”