Turkey’s new judges, prosecutors give Erdoğan standing ovation at palace ceremony

New judges and prosecutors who went to the Turkish presidential palace on Monday for balloting that will determine their work assignments stood up and applauded Turkish Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım in a show of support for them.

The vote was conducted by the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) for former lawyers who have become judges and prosecutors. It has become common for the members of the Turkish judiciary to show their open support for Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

Turkey’s judiciary is being criticized for acting on orders from President 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 WJP is an independent, US-based organisation that aims to advance the rule of law around the world. Its Rule of Law Index is an annual report that measures the rule of law around the world, using primary data and expert opinions. The WJP claims this is the most comprehensive report of its kind in the world.

The Turkish government has arrested a total of 2,431 judges and prosecutors and dismissed 4,424 others since a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a Constitutional Court general assembly ruling revealed on early August 2017.

A comprehensive report titled “Turkey’s descent into arbitrariness: The end of rule of law” published by SCF in April 2017 provides detailed information on how the rule of law has lost meaning in the Turkish context, confirming the effective collapse of all domestic judicial and administrative remedies available for Turkish citizens who lodge complaints for rights violations.

It lists many recent cases showing the ways in which Turkey’s autocratic President Erdoğan and his associates in the government manipulate the judiciary through loyalists and partisans. An unprecedented intimidation campaign against independent judges and prosecutors including unlawful arrests and arbitrary assets seizures was pursued by political authorities

Turkey has jailed more than 50,000 people in the aftermath of a failed coup on July 15,2016 under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. The arrests are seen as being politically motivated and aimed at eliminating Erdoğan’s critics. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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