Turkey

'State of emergency review body paves way for justice'

This measure allows people to seek rights and judicial remedies even under state of emergency, says Turkey's prime minister

Ahmet Sait Akçay   | 26.01.2017
'State of emergency review body paves way for justice'

Ankara

By Sinan Uslu

ANKARA

A new Turkish commission to review sanctions under the state of emergency will give new judicial avenues for appeals, said the nation’s prime minister Thursday.

Speaking at the opening of a new judicial database in the capital Ankara, Binali Yildirim spoke on the State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission set up by decree earlier this week, which will consider all appeals of dismissals, suspensions, and closures under the decree laws in the period since the July 2016 failed coup.

“This new measure allows people to seek rights and judicial remedies even under the state of emergency conditions,” he said.

He added, “This will avoid all unjust treatment” even for people who have committed treason and other serious crimes.

“Turkey is a state of law and everyone has right under the law to demand justice.”

He also said, “Some rare cases might go overlooked, but as a state of law we will do our best to reduce the number of victimized people in order to work through all judicial mechanisms in full.”

The commission’s mandate lasts two years, but the Cabinet can extend it for a year. Applications to the commission can be made through the local governor’s office.

Yildirim underlined the importance of the right to appeal and said the commission's rulings will pave the way for justice.

Later, Yildirim spoke on dismissed members of the judiciary, saying that these dismissals protect the independent, impartial judicial system and state of law, adding, “To date 3,581 judges and prosecutors were dismissed alongside 4,235 other Justice Ministry staff.”

After the July 15 deadly coup attempt that martyred at least 248 people and injured some 2,200 others, Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20.

Under the Constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum of six months, but can also be extended as needed.

The state of emergency was first extended on Oct. 19, 2016, and then on Jan. 19, both times for 90 days.

In addition to the failed coup, Turkey's government has accused the Fetullah Terrorist Group (FETO), led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, of staging the coup attempt and of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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