June 6, 2018
Dozens of judges and prosecutors, who are former members of Turkey’s supreme courts such as the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), have been persecuted by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Today, most of these jurists are still held in solitary confinement in prisons across Turkey.
The first victims of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch-hunt campaign, which was launched against alleged members of the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, have been the members of the judiciary in Turkey. In the early hours of July 16, 2016 morning, thousands of judiciary members were detained during the police raids against their houses.
Mehmet Yılmaz, vice president of the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK, which replaced HSYK), had confirmed this massive post-coup witch hunt campaign by saying that “We dismissed 2,740 members of the judiciary from their duties at 01:00 a.m. on July 16, 2016.” Yılmaz also said in an interview to the pro-government Akşam daily on April 6, 2018 that “4,100 members of the judiciary have been dismissed, so far.”
It is known that more than 2,000 members of the judiciary were arrested and put behind the bars in the wake of the July 15 military coup attempt. According to the reports in Turkish media, the prosecutors issued detention warrants for 2 members of the Constitutional Court, 140 members of the Court of Cassation, 48 members of the Council of State and 2,700 judges and prosecutors.