Purge-victim judge couple reunited with daughter after 29 months in Turkish prison on coup charges

Neslihan and Hüseyin Ekinci, both former judges in the Turkish judicial system, finally saw each other on Tuesday night and were reunited with their daughter Rana Ekinci after almost 29 months in pre-trial detention.

Their “unexpected” and emotional reunion was captured on camera.

Neslihan Ekinci

Neslihan Ekici, a dismissed judge and the former secretary-general of Turkey’s top judicial body, and her husband Hüseyin Ekinci, also a dismissed judge and a former rapporteur for Turkey’s Constitutional Court, were released from prison late on Tuesday after spending 29 months in solitary confinement on coup charges.

Both Neslihan Ekinci and Hüseyin Ekinci were initially fired from their jobs and then put in pre-trial detention days after a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to her daughter, Neslihan Ekinci had been held in solitary confinement for over 20 months and thus she has suffered from serious mental and physical disorders as a result of her months-long isolation. “My mother is losing her mental health in solitary confinement,” Rana once tweeted.

Turkey’s judiciary is criticized for acting on orders from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and not basing their rulings on the law. Judges in Turkey who make decisions that anger Erdoğan are either replaced or jailed. Turkey has fallen to the 101st position out of 113 countries in the World Justice Project’s (WJP) 2017-18 Rule of Law Index, a comprehensive measure of the rule of law.

The Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has arrested a total of 2,431 judges and prosecutors and dismissed 4,424 others since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a Constitutional Court general assembly ruling revealed in August 2017.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Turkey have been the subject of legal proceedings in the last two years on charges of membership in the Gülen movement since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a Turkish Justice Ministry official told a symposium on July 19, 2018.

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