Supreme Court orders new members to take office before judiciary bill becomes law

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The Supreme Court of Appeals reportedly sent a message to its new members, asking them to take office on July 18-19, before the bill to redesign the judiciary by demoting or dismissing hundreds of senior members was approved by the president.

Turkish media reported that the Supreme Court of Appeals asked its 516 new members – selected accordingly to the bill that has not been approved by the president — on Wednesday and Thursday not to leave the Ankara capital and submit written notice indicating they will take office on July 18 and 19.

Members of the court reacted harshly against the message because it asked the members, which are selected according to the new bill that aims at redesigning judiciary, to take office before the bill was approved by the president and became a law.

Some members of the court regarded the message as “arbitrary” and “scandalous” because the new members should have been elected by the general assembly of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) after the bill was approved by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Speaking to Sözcü, a Turkish daily critical of the government, a member of the Supreme Court of Appeals said, “They sent us a text as if new members of the court were selected. This is disrespectful towards the will of HSYK. As far as we know, the HSYK was unable to reach a consensus about the candidates. … We are all shocked [to the see message.]”

The court’s authorities reportedly informed that the message was sent to ensure members’ presence in the office on the mentioned days, as judiciary recess will start on July 20.

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