May 26, 2017
Over 4,000 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed from the profession due to alleged membership, contact or affiliations with the Gülen movement, said Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on Friday as part of Turkish government’s post-coup witch hunt targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Bozdağ made the comments in a ceremony addressing Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) members during which new public prosecutors will be chosen by the casting of lots. “The first place which started fighting FETÖ was the Turkish judiciary,” Bozdağ said and added that “After the HSYK elections, this struggle continued in accordance with the law… The HSYK has finished its investigation. There are no judges and prosecutors who have not been examined yet… Of course, due to the structure of this organization, there is no possibility to say that there will be no further examinations.”
Meanwhile, a censure motion by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Bozdağ was rejected in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday. The CHP submitted the censure motion against Bozdağ on May 11 on the grounds that the majority of the names of the new list of judges are affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The motion was rejected by a parliamentary vote of 268 to 105 late on May 24.
“Why didn’t you list all those 800 judges [that you have argued that are affiliated with the AKP]?” Bozdağ said. “If there are 800 judges from the AKP, an honorable and frank person would reveal it to the public. I want all those 800 judges and prosecutors. If you can give those names, I will quit my position as a lawmaker,” Bozdağ said amid raised voices from opposition desks shouting “resign!”