Almost 60,000 cases filed against Turkish Prime Ministry over state of emergency decrees

A total of 57,679 cases were filed against state of emergency decree-laws in 2017, the Prime Ministry Office’s activity report for the year has stated.

Around 4,500 of these cases directly accuse the Prime Ministry of rights violations in the decrees, according to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News on Sunday.

“In 2017, 56,679 cases filed against state of emergency decrees were referred to the Prime Ministry. In around 4,500 of these cases, the Prime Ministry was a direct party to the legal proceedings, and the defenses to these cases were prepared in coordination with the ministry’s Directorate of Legal Services,” the activity report of the Prime Ministry said.

Some 55,426 of the cases filed demanded an annulment of decree provisions. The figures mark a significant rise from number of cases filed against the Prime Ministry in 2016 (15,053) and in 2015 (1,336).

The report added that other cases are being followed by the directorate and that the Prime Ministry has formed a joint “information repository” for cases involving a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 as well as an “arbitration data network.”

The report stated that cases against the Prime Ministry concerning state of emergency decree number 685 have been directly conveyed to the State of Emergency Investigation Commission in line with State of Emergency decree number 690, Article 56, which states that local courts have no jurisdiction over these decrees.

The State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission, which was established by a decree-law issued on Jan. 23, 2017, announced on Feb. 28, 2018 that it has received 107,076 applications so far. However, it has finalized a total of 6,400 dossiers, ruling for only 100 persons to return to their jobs, Hürriyet reported. According to the report, the commission has to date rejected 4,316 requests for reinstatement; 1,984 applications are in the preliminary phase, while 100,676 are currently under examination.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. On December 13, 2017, the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 2, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.”

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