By MELIS TON
Arrest warrants were issued for 2,745 judges and prosecutors just one day after the 15th of July controlled coup attempt, when even the names of the soldiers who took part in the attempt were not yet known. The profiling lists of who should be arrested had obviously been prepared long before the attempted coup took place.
This was only the beginning and many more purge lists followed. Almost all the people whose names were on the lists were detained, and a large majority of the detainees were arrested. Of those who were not arrested, some were sentenced to house imprisonment, others were banned from leaving the country, and many were released on parole on the condition that they went to police headquarters on certain days and signed in.
The number of judges purged is 4,560
The decision by the Constitutional Court dated 26 July 2017 and numbered 2016/49158 stated in paragraph 19 that more than 4,500 judges and prosecutors had been purged:
Meanwhile, during this process, decisions were made by the HSYK (the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors) to suspend or purge over 4,500 members of the judiciary who were deemed to be affiliated with the so-called FETO/PDY (Fethullah Terrorist Organisation). In this manner, the HSYK made the decision to dismiss 2,847 judges and prosecutors on 24 August 2016, 543 on 31 August 2016, 66 on 4 October 2016, 203 on 15 November 2016, 227 on 13 February 2017, 202 on 17 March 2017, 45 on 3 April 2017 and 107 on 5 May 2017. Some of the appeals for reconsideration were accepted by the HSYK General Assembly and the applicants were reinstated.
The clearest statement concerning the number of purgees was made by Yunus Nadi Kolukısa, the chairman of the Supervisory Board at the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK). “During this time, we the HSK processed 4,521 judges and prosecutors for membership to FETO and dismissed them. Our inspections and investigations still continue,” said Kolukısa on a TRT News channel programme called Uzman Gözüyle Hukuk (Law from the Perspective of an Expert) on the 14th of July, 2017.
The number rose to 4,560 with the dismissal of 39 more judges and prosecutors on the 5th of October 2017. The number of dismissals accounts for 29.8 % of the total number.
The number of judges who were either arrested or restricted by other protection measures
Paragraph 19 of the Constitutional Court decision dated 26 July 2017 and numbered 2016/49158 stated the number of judges and prosecutors who were arrested or placed under judicial control is as follows:
According to the information from the Ministry,
As of 24 July 2017, the number of members of the judiciary about whom an investigation is underway within the scope of the FETO/PDY investigations is 4,664.
Of these persons, 1,311 have been released on judicial control (a ban on travelling abroad, obligation to sign), and 97 were released without any judicial control. Furthermore, no arrest warrants were issued for 251 members of the judiciary about whom there are ongoing investigations.
2,431 members of the judiciary, higher court members among them, were arrested as a preventive measure.
Furthermore, 297 members of the judiciary were first arrested as a preventive measure and then discharged. Of these, 274 were placed in judicial control measures.
There are also 271 members of the judiciary who are fugitives and for whom arrest warrants have been issued by investigative authorities, and 6 are still in detention.
The number of judges kept in solitary confinement is 680
Hüseyin Aygün, lawyer and former main opposition lawmaker, said on his Twitter account @HuseyinAygun62 on the 16th of November 2016, “After 680 judges and prosecutors, HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş and his friends have been placed in solitary confinement. Isolation is a crime against humanity.” Aygün’s statement confirmed the number of judges and prosecutors in solitary confinement as 680.
Judges kept behind bars despite they have serious health problems and those who have died
Seyfettin Yiğit, a purged judge, allegedly committed suicide in prison. Mehmet Tosun died outside the prison walls because although he was released after a period of detention, he was dismissed and denied any salary or medical insurance. He had been under treatment for two years when he was arrested. Mustafa Erdogan, a member of the Supreme Court, has died at hospital where he was kept in custody and prevented from recieveing proper medical treatment despite filed petition regarding his advanced brain tumor. Demands for release by dozens of other seriously ill judges and prosecutors have been denied and they have been left to die in prison.
To sum up, almost one third of the Turkish Judiciary have been dismissed in the last year thanks to the authority granted by state of emergency decrees, with a complete disregard of guarantees for judges and investigation procedures. 4,560 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed and 2,728 have been arrested. Only 297 of those who were arrested have been released, and 2,431 are still in prison. Moreover, although 1,311 judges and prosecutors have not been arrested, they are under judicial control (banned from travelling abroad or ordered to sign in regularly). There are hundreds of members of the the Court of Cassation and the Council of State who are among those who have been arrested. Also two of the Constitutional Court members are still being kept in solitary confinement.
These numbers do not include military judges and prosecutors or inspectors at the Chamber of Accounts who have been dismissed or arrested.
Placing judges and prosecutors in solitary confinement and refusing to discharge seriously ill ones is a blatant violation of human rights that requires an urgent solution.
(2) Decision made by The Constitutional Court dated 26/7/2017 2016/49158 para 19 http://www.anayasa.gov.tr/icsayfalar/basin/kararlarailiskinb…
(4) Decision made by The Constitutional Court dated 26/7/2017 2016/49158 para 18 http://www.anayasa.gov.tr/icsayfalar/basin/kararlarailiskinb…ular