Top court rejects CHP’s petitions on KHKs citing lack of jurisdiction

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Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday rejected petitions filed by the country’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) requesting the cancellation of some controversial government decrees, known as KHKs, which went into effect in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15.

The court cited a lack of jurisdiction for its decision.

Last month the CHP took some of the government decrees, which have the force of law, to the Constitutional Court, saying that they need to be cancelled because they contravene the Constitution. However, government officials said the government decrees cannot be challenged at the Constitutional Court.

The government is able to press ahead with the controversial decrees thanks to a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.

One of the government decrees, taken by the CHP to the Constitutional Court last month, concerned the shutting down of war academies, military high schools and NCO high schools and the transfer of the Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) and military hospitals across Turkey to the jurisdiction of the Health Ministry. The emergency decree, No.669, also brought the land, naval and air forces under Defense Ministry supervision.

The CHP also took government decree No. 668 to the Constitutional Court for cancellation in September. In line with decree No. 668, Turkey’s gendarmerie and coast guard were subordinated to the Interior Ministry, while 1,684 military officers were expelled from their posts in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Turkish authorities claim Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania and whose views inspired the Gülen movement, was the mastermind of the violent coup attempt that killed over 240 people and injured a thousand others on July 15, while Gülen strongly denies any involvement.

The Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have designated the Gülen movement, operating charities, schools and businesses around the world, as a terrorist organization and have launched a widespread crackdown on suspected members since the failed coup.

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