Selami Turabi, a judge who is also a senior official at the Justice Ministry responsible for European Union affairs, has written in his book about post-July 15 coup investigations in Turkey that people who were arrested as part of these investigations should be executed.
In the book, titled, “Terrorist organizations and terror crimes,” Turabi talks about the thousands of people who were arrested in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 on coup or terrorism charges due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
Turabi said the Turkish judiciary’s stance toward people jailed as part of investigations into the Gülen movement is: “Neither compassion nor oppression, only justice, only justice. We think the antidote of this organization is justice. … We even think that people like them who have betrayed their nation and homeland should be executed, even though this doesn’t exist [in our criminal code]. This should be done publicly to set an example to others; this would be ‘real justice’.”
Turabi’s remarks attracted widespread criticism on social media, with many accusing him of promoting Nazi-era practices and not acting like a jurist but a government fan.
Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as a part of reforms to facilitate Turkey’s accession to the European Union, although the death penalty has not been used since 1984.
Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the Gülen movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.