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    Oktay Eksi: Turkish judiciary's memorandum to government

    Hürriyet Haber
    22.05.2008 - 12:04 | Son Güncelleme:

    I guess that since we referred to the statement published in Turkish General Staff's website on April 27, 2008, as "e-memorandum," where 'e' represents electronic, we need refer to the statement released by Turkey's Supreme Court as "j-memorandum" where 'j' represents judiciary.

    If we put aside this playing around with words;

    It would be wrong to asses both military and judicial statements in the same light.


    The first statement was an "intervention" into the judicial system and its freedom.


    The second, released yesterday, stressed the "freedom of judicial system," making the voice of the system louder.


    The rejection of the first statement in terms of "the law" was meaningful, but a rejection of yesterday's statement is nonsense.


    Yet the government rejected the statement, the justice minister responded:


    "There was no reason for such a statement to be made; this is why I can not understand the logic behind such a statement. The statement says that the judiciary is under pressure of becoming controlled by an executive body, but neither the judiciary nor the executive body is controlled by the other and such a situation must also not exist. I respect the members of judiciary but I find these kinds of statements, made from time to time, as political."


    What was the statement saying?


    Actually the statement said nothing new. As with all judicial institutions in Turkey, the Supreme Court was also uneasy with the current government's efforts and plans "to control the judiciary."They also expressed their uneasiness about the issue in another statement on April 27, 2007, - three months prior to the closure case filed against the ruling AKP.


    Likewise, the Supreme Court said they would not allow the “political efforts trying to control judiciary."        


    We all know that the ruling party did not seriously take this statement into consideration. And also, it was not difficult to see the systematic insults and attacks that the judiciary faced following the closure case against ruling AKP. Furthermore, when the government presented the "Judiciary Reform Strategy" to European Union representative, Olli Rehn, ignoring the existence of high judiciary institutions, they were compelled to respond and to be heard.


    It is understood that another reason that lead the Supreme Court to raise its voice, is the complaints raised in the chapter, "Confidence in the Judiciary" in the draft report entitled, "Judiciary Reform Strategy."


    As far as we are concerned, all the observations and diagnosis expressed in the statement are correct.


    But the statement’s greatest shortcoming is not mentioning that the political power aimed “at preventing the judiciary from taking a side on the issues of secular Republic and national unity” (with the expression in the statement on September 28) due to the “absolute neutrality” requirement. The real danger for the secular Republic rests here.




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