Supreme Court of Appeals member Mustafa Aysal posted a message in a WhatsApp group aiming to garner support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday.
According to the Turkish constitution, members of judiciary must be impartial.
Judge Aysal conveyed his political views in the WhatsApp group that includes other Supreme Court of Appeals members, saying they have to protect President Erdoğan in order not to feel regret afterwards.
He also posted an Ottoman poet’s verses expressing the regret felt after Sultan Abdülhamit II was deposed by military forces in the early 20th century.
Rıza Tevfik, the Ottoman poet, had been a dissident under the Abdülhamit reign; however, he wrote a poem a few years after the dethronement implying that he and other dissidents had been wrong in their views on the sultan.
Turkey’s conservative circles have likened President Erdoğan to Abdülhamit, who in their view annoyed Westerners as Erdoğan has recently done.
Even public broadcaster TRT has been airing a series called “Payitaht Abdülhamit” in which the sultan fights foreign powers’ plots against the Ottoman Empire, similar to Erdoğan supporters’ narrative about current political developments.
Earlier this month a member of Council of State, Aysel Demirel, posted a tweet criticizing Erdoğan’s rival Muharrem İnce for his remarks on the freedom to wear a headscarf, accusing him of hypocrisy as she claimed İnce had previously favored banning headscarves for public servants.
Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday. (turkishminute.com)