Opposition deputy says Turkey’s ‘judicial reform’ did not address problems of purge victims

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Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, deputy, in parliament.

After the first omnibus bill of Turkey’s planned judicial reform was passed by parliament, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent opposition deputy and human rights activist, said the new regulations had nothing to do with the problems of thousands of post-coup purge victims, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

Gergerlioğlu, from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said the legislation shouldn’t be called a judicial reform since it only enhanced a few points in the law.

“There is still no freedom of expression in this country,” Gergerlioğlu told reporters at a press conference in parliament.

Turkey has sacked some 140,000 public servants due to alleged ties to so-called terrorist organizations since a failed 2016 coup. It also has put restrictions on the former civil servants’ passports.

The new omnibus law foresees lifting those restrictions if the purge victims have been acquitted in court or in administrative investigations.

Gergerlioğlu said Turkish judges are still keeping pregnant women in jail, adding that Alparslan Kuytul, a religious community leader critical of the Turkish government, also remains behind bars for his political criticism.

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