Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Dursun Çiçek has said judges and prosecutors in Turkey are tired of government pressure and that they want to be free of it.
Çiçek’s remarks came during an interview published by the Sözcü daily on Thursday.
Voicing his support for a “March of Justice” initiated by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 15, Çiçek criticized the government for imposing pressure on the judiciary. “This government does not care about law and justice. The real purpose of the March of Justice is to at least ease the pressure on the judiciary by the palace [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and create a political atmosphere for members of the judiciary to make decisions in accordance with the law until the 2019 elections,” he said.
The Turkish government is being widely criticized for taking the judiciary under its control and imposing pressure on its members to make politically motivated decisions. The government has removed thousands of judges and prosecutors from their posts on coup charges since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The March of Justice, which was launched in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, started in Ankara and is expected to last for 25 days and end at Maltepe Prison, where Berberoğlu is jailed.
Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison on June 14 for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.