The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which has carried out a massive purge in the Turkish judiciary in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, is preparing to increase the monthly salaries of judges and prosecutors through a government decree, Turkish media reports said on Sunday.
A total of 16,000 judges and prosecutors will reportedly benefit from the pay rise. A first degree judge or prosecutor, who has served in the profession for at least 21 years, will receive a maximum pay rise of TL 2,700 and receive a monthly salary of TL 13,500, which is around 10 times higher than the minimum wage in Turkey.
Each member of the judiciary will benefit from the pay rise in accordance with the number of years they have spent in the profession.
The government plan to increase the monthly salaries of judges and prosecutors has led to claims that the government is aiming to “bribe” the members of the judiciary so that they rule against Erdoğan opponents in trials they hear and that Erdoğan is strengthening his hand before a critical referendum in April when constitutional amendments seeking to introduce an executive presidency will be presented to a public vote.
Following the coup attempt on July 15, the AKP government has expelled thousands of judges and prosecutors over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.
Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.