Turkish attorneys have marched against the “judicial coup” by the Supreme Court of Cassation by filing a criminal complaint against the Constitutional Court for granting an MP’s release from jail.
The order was backed by President Erdogan.
Thousands of Turkish attorneys protested in Ankara via a march organized by the Union of Bar Associations (TBB) against the Supreme Court of Cassation’s decision to file a criminal complaint against Constitutional Court members after the court ordered the release of Can Atalay, a Workers’ Party of Turkey MP who was imprisoned.
“You cannot talk about law in a place where the decisions of the Constitutional Court are not implemented. What is intended to be created? An unlawful order, perhaps a regime change. We will not allow them to create an environment for this,” said Mustafa Koroglu, the head of the Ankara Bar Association.
Lawyers carrying Turkish constitution pamphlets and dressed in robes marched in a 6-kilometer-long cortege. They ended their march in front of the Supreme Court of Cassation.
The Constitutional Court’s decision to order Atalay’s immediate release has been disregarded by the Court of Cassation. Instead, it forwarded a resolution to the Speaker of the Parliament’s office to initiate the process of taking away Atalay’s legislative standing.
The Court was charged by attorneys, specialists, and the opposition with organizing a de facto judicial coup.
On October 25, Turkey’s highest court declared that the imprisoned MP’s “right to vote and be elected” and the “right to personal liberty and security” had been violated.
The Turkish Constitution states that the Constitutional Court is the highest court in the nation and that its rulings are binding. An appeal has no legal standing.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, has questioned the legitimacy of the Constitutional Court and supported the Supreme Court of Cassation.
“The decision taken by the Court of Cassation cannot be set aside or pushed aside in any way. In response to the decision of the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation has now said; ‘If you are the high court, I am also the high court, and as the high court, I am currently requesting a sanction against you,’” Erdogan told reporters.
Erdogan also said that mistakes had been made by the Constitutional Court.
“Unfortunately, the Constitutional Court has been making many mistakes in this regard, one after another, which seriously saddens us,” he continued.
Atalay was elected in May.
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