Turkey’s judicial board replaces 154 judges

The first chamber of Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has replaced 154 judges under a summer decree, the Diken news website reported on Friday.

Judges demanding a review of the decision concerning their replacement have been asked to submit petitions by July 17 via the National Judiciary Network Information System (UYAP).

The name of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) was changed to the HSK and its number of members was dropped to 13 from 22 after a constitutional referendum on April 16 declared the “yes” campaign as the winner with 51.4 percent of the vote, paving the way for the country to shift to an executive presidency.

The Turkish government is being widely criticized for taking the judiciary under its control and imposing pressure on its members to make politically motivated decisions.

A total of 2,431 members of the Turkish judiciary were arrested in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 while 265 of them are at large.

Yunus Nadi Kolukısa, the head of Inspection Board of HSK, has announced on July 13, 2017 that a total of 4,521 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed by HSK from Turkey’s judiciary over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement since July 15, 2016.

Kolukısa has also confessed that Erdoğanist HSK’s post-coup witch hunt targeting non-partisan judges and prosecutors by saying that “Our invesitgations and researches are still continuing. Because there might be crypto Gülenists.”

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic 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. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 14, 2017

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