MHP deputy: Judiciary acting in fear due to political pressure

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Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) parliamentary group deputy chairman and Samsun deputy Erhan Usta has said the judiciary is acting in fear in investigations linked to last year’s coup attempt due to political pressure, the Diken news website reported on Monday.

Arguing that at least one-third of judges and prosecutors were dismissed due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement and that the current judicial system is unable to respond to the needs of Turkey, Usta called for a fair investigation that does not accuse innocent people.

“On top of that, when there is also political pressure, they [the judiciary] act in fear. A lot of people experience this. There is nothing in the indictment, but he or she is somehow arrested. This causes their situation to remain like that. Managers dismiss someone who has done something trivial, and judges and prosecutors decide on the continuation of their arrest even if there is nothing in the indictment. This should stop, it has been more than a year.”

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

The government is being widely criticized for taking the judiciary under its control and imposing pressure on its members to make politically motivated decisions.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan has occupied all state institutions by turning last year’s July 15 coup attempt into an opportunity.

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