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Turkey’s top judicial board reassigns 171 judges and prosecutors

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Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has reassigned 171 judges and prosecutors, according to a decree published in the country’s Official Gazette on Saturday.

The HSK decides on the appointments and promotions of members of the judiciary.

Four of those reassigned were judges at the Council of State who were appointed to provincial administrative courts.

The decree was signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğa had lambasted the judiciary in 2013 after a graft probe targeting the highest echelons of his government exposed a bribery scandal. He accused the judges and prosecutors as well as police officers involved in the investigation of working for the Gülen movement, a faith-based group critical of his administration.

Up until 2016, Erdoğan tried to redesign the judiciary by appointing loyalists to critical posts. In July 2016 a botched coup took place, the aftermath of which saw an unprecedented crackdown, mainly on Erdoğan’s opponents.

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.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government removed more than 130,000 civil servants, including some 4,000 judges and prosecutors, from their jobs due to alleged Gülen links.

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