The Turkish government’s intense pressure on the judiciary

The Turkish Ministry of Justice sent a letter, dated October 13, 2017, to the Kayseri Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and all courts responsible for HDP’s co-chair Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş’s cases. This official note, marked as confidential and titled as General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses of the Ministry of Justice, intends to influence the courts.
While the court in Kayseri had previously concluded that Mr Demirtaş had to be brought to the hearing to testify, the Ministry of Justice has instructed the courts with this confidential note that such decisions should not be made.
1. The Ministry of Justice does not have the right to give such unlawful instructions to courts. This instruction is in violation of the Constitution of Turkey (Article 138). The right to a fair trial is clearly violated.
2. In the same note, Mr. Demirtaş is referred to as “under arrest in the position of a militant with the charge of being a member of an armed terrorist organization.” This sentence is a clear sign that the Ministry of Justice has already made the decision on Mr Demirtaş and is now pressuring the courts to ratify it.
This note is evidence that the courts are under heavy political pressure and manipulation. The judiciary is forced to act under instructions of executive organs, and is made dependent and biased. Presidents and members of the courts are not allowed to make independent and free decisions. This is a judicial manipulation that we did not witness even during martial law and military junta times.
We condemn and protest this unlawful and irrational instruction. This note, which is unacceptable also according to the international law and international democratic conventions of which Turkey is a signatory party, has once again revealed how relations between judicial and executive organs in Turkey are organized and work.
These “legal cases”, which in reality are political revenge operations carried out under the instructions of the AKP’s chair, ministers and administrators, will be recorded in history as a disgrace.
Peoples’ Democratic Party
Central Executive Board
1 November 2017