Turkish gov’t dismisses 107 more judges and prosecutors

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Prosecutors and judges stood up and applauded President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when he entered the hall and when he finished his address during a ceremony on Sept. 1, 2016 opening the new judicial year, which was held for the first time at the presidential palace and protested by the main opposition leader and the head of the bar association because of the venue of the event.

Turkey’s top judicial body, the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), has dismissed 107 more judges and prosecutors over alleged ties to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup on July 15.

The decision for the expulsion of the jurists was made at the HSYK general assembly on Friday.

Deputy Chairman of the HSYK Mehmet Yılmaz told Turkish media that with the latest dismissals, the lists they were working on have been completed.

“This is the last one. The lists we have been working are now complete. We have no one left to dismiss. If we receive more complaints in the future, we will address them,” Yılmaz said.

A total of 4,238 dismissed

According to news website t24, the government has dismissed a total of 4,238 judges and prosecutors since July 15.

In May 2016, Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced that the total number of judges and prosecutors in Turkey was 14,661.

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

The government has been criticized for using the coup attempt as an excuse to purge judges and prosecutors and replace them with names close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

 AKP judges in charge

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş said last week that the AKP government had recruited for the position of judge 800 lawyers who had ties to the party.

Yarkadaş said the AKP government held an examination for judges, saying that there were 1,500 vacancies in Turkish courts. “However, they only recruited 900 judges, 800 of them pro-AKP people,” he said.

“According to information I received from the judicial community, there is a dark side to the examination for lawyers to become judges. Lots of people failed to be recruited although they scored well in the written test. However, many [pro-AKP] people were recruited after the verbal exam despite the fact that they scored 55-60 in the written exam,” Yarkadaş said.

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