2.847 judges and prosecutors dismissed

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As part of an ongoing witch-hunt against the Gulen movement, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) dismissed 2.847 judges and prosecutors on Wednesday for alleged links to the movement.

The HSYK General Assembly approved the decision to fire 2.847 judges and prosecutors who had been suspended during a purge in state institutions carried out by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government hours after a failed coup attempt on July 15. The decision was taken by a unanimous vote and based on Article 3 of the State of Emergency Decree.

Turkey’s courts have put at least 1,684 judges and prosecutors in pretrial detention in the aftermath of the failed coup, Human Rights Watch said last week.

“Jailing judges without even the pretense of due process will cause profound damage to Turkey’s justice system for years to come,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey director at Human Rights Watch. “Bypassing the rule of law is no way to protect it.”

There are 14.661 prosecutors and judges working as part of the Turkish justice system.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on Aug. 17 a government plan to name 8,000 new judges and prosecutors by the end of 2016.

Moves made by the AK Party concerning the justice system have created further concern about government control of the judiciary.

The AK Party government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have designated the Gülen movement, which runs charities, schools and businesses around the world, as a terrorist organization and has launched a widespread crackdown on suspected members since a failed coup attempt on July 15. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup attempt, although the movement denies any involvement.

A total of 81,494 people have been purged from state bodies, 40,029 detained and 20,355 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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