Minister of Justice Gül evaluated the current affairs on TRT News 26.12.2017
Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül evaluated the current affairs live on TRT News. Minister Gül evaluated the controversies over Article 121 of the Decree Law No 696 and "I don't believe that taking the Article the wrong way reflects good faith in this regard. They either read it with bad intentions or never read it at all." has noted Minister Gül.

IT WAS APPROVED BY THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY (GNAT) ON 8 NOVEMBER

Minister stated that misinterpretations of the Article do not reflect the truth, besides the regulation concerned is not new, it already exists in the previous Decree Laws. Decree Law No 668 was put into effect on 27 July 2016 and it decreed that public servants acting, deciding with an aim to suppress the coup attempt of 15 July, terrorist actions and the following activities would not be held liable for their actions.

Minister Gül underlined that the mentioned regulation was submitted for approval on 8 November 2016 and approved by GNAT, "The Decree Law No 696 which came into force has the same context with the Decree Law of 27 July 2016, this time the regulation includes that citizens taking such actions will not be held criminally, administratively and financially liable or lawsuits cannot be filed against such persons. There is not a new regulation coming in force. I don't believe the criticisms over this issue are made in good faith. This means that the Article was read with bad intentions or was never read at all" indicated Minister Gül.

THE REGULATION IN FORCE FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS WAS EXTENDED TO ALL CITIZENS

Gül reiterated the 80 million people who stood against the coup and said that the regulation in force for the public servants was extended also to citizens who risked their lives on the night of the coup. Minister Gül said "Therefore, this is not a new regulation. Whoever those prevented the treacherous coup attempt on 15 July may be, be it public servants or civilians, such acts mean acting in accordance with the law, in self-defence and they are obligatory actions."

THE COUP ENDED

He added that the first Decree Law also has the same context and they refer to the 15th and 16th July,  therefore this issue should not be abused. Later Gül explained the word "suppression", "The coup ended. When was the coup suppressed? It started on 15 July, two hours later it was 16 July. The coup was suppressed on 16 July. The Decree Law has the indication "within the scope of suppression" which means that the Law does not apply to after that date or today. The coup attempt is also a terrorist action. The acts during the coup are deemed terrorist crime pursuant to Article 3 of Anti-Terrorism Law. The mentioned terrorist act does not involve other terrorist incidents or terrorist acts which were orchestrated before or after 15-16 July. The subject of the Article is the coup attempt on 15 July. The suppression took place on 16 July. The Article cannot cover the actions taken before or after that date."

SINGLE-TYPE ATTIRE

Minister Gül mentioned the regulation on single-type attire, he recalled that the detainees and convicts who attempted the coup will wear dark almond-coloured uniforms while the detainees and convicts of terrorist crimes will wear grey uniforms. He stated that this regulation will not be applicable for pregnant detainees and children and the women's attire will be determined by the regulation.

Abdülhamit Gül noted that "the single-type attire will be worn at the hearings only, not at penal institutions. The law stipulates that a regulation be prepared within a month. After its issue, it will come into force."

APPEAL PROCESS AT THE COURT OF CASSATION

The cases on coup attempt which include hundreds of accused will be able to be handled in reference to the files and without any hearing, according to the Decree Law, which draws criticism. Minister Gül noted that the efforts during the state of emergency are to conclude fair trials within reasonable time and to determine the persons which will be convicted or released by independent courts. To that end, the procedure is often regulated without prejudice to the right to free trial and in order to repeal certain ill-intentioned practices or abuses.

Regarding the issue of giving verdict in the absence of the lawyer, Gül stated that lawyers are present at the testimony and defence procedure, however the terrorist organisations don't make their defence to prevent the verdict. He added that this regulation is made to prevent the abuses of the law and it certainly does not annul the right of defence.

IT IS BENEATH THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY

Upon the CHP's intention to refer the Decree Laws No 695 and 696 to the Constitutional Court, Gül said as follows:

"The Constitution has clear provisions about this. A constitutional review is out of question. It is well known that the AK Party has a reformist and libertarian side. It never restricts human rights and freedom of the citizens, on the contrary, the AK Party has issued regulations which maintain the public order and peace. Such efforts to undermine the procedure will be in vain. The law defines our borders. The procedure is conducted within the scope of the Constitution."   

THE INNOCENT WILL ACQUIT

Recalling that the law on reducing the memberships of the Court of Cassation and the Council of State was issued before 15 July coup attempt, Minister Gül said that the members of FETÖ terrorist organization, the coup plotters appeared before the courts. Gül noted that there are about 4,000 judges and prosecutors who have been dismissed in many courts, that all of them will be brought before the court, and that the innocent ones will be acquitted. Noting that the courts had a heavy workload related to these issues, Gül emphasized that there were neither the coup nor the coup plotters or FETÖ members at the time the number of members was reduced.

Minister of Justice Gül said that the regulation of increasing the number of members in the high judiciary was made not because of an option but because of necessity. Minister Gül said:

“The militant judge and prosecutors were dismissed on 15 July night by the Council of Judges and Prosecutors. Not all the judges and prosecutors of the Turkish judiciary are militants. They are honorable members of the independent, impartial Turkish judiciary. I am telling this for all our judges and prosecutors who work with their hearts and souls for the continuity of Turkey and the law. He says there are honorable judges and prosecutors when it comes to his favor, but then he says there aren't any honorable judges and prosecutors... Such an attitude never seems to suit the Chairperson of the Main Opposition Party. It is never acceptable to make such a discrimination among our judges and prosecutors."

TRIALS ARE HELD QUICKLY AND IN A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME

Minister Gül pointed out that all the members of the judiciary work in self-sacrifice for the cases against the traitorous 15 July coup attempt and that they also provide the required technical support. Gül reminded that the courts are experiencing shortcomings as regard to the courtrooms, and reported that the Ministry solved this problem experienced by courts. Gül reminded that new delegations were formed and members are supplemented in the courts which are thought to have adversely affected the acceleration of the trial, and said, "As soon as possible, those who are guilty will be punished and those who are not guilty will not be punished, and will take decision of non suit. Our public may trust on law and judiciary." Minister Gül stressed that the proceedings are held quickly and in a reasonable period of time, and that the defense periods were considered.

IT IS SAD THAT THE AMERICAN JUDICIARY GIVES CREDIT

Upon being reminded that a former police officer whose name is Hüseyin Korkmaz gave testimony in Hakan Atilla case continuing in the United States, Gül said "Indeed it is a very unfortunate situation, but in order to see the photo, it also contains a very important data. It is very challenging and sad that courts in another place, the American judiciary gives credit to a fugitive person wanted for FETÖ terrorist organization membership in Turkey ." Minister of Justice Gül said that, it is sad that he is welcomed in the court, given credit and paid salary instead of being in an attitude such as "You are searching for this person, he is said to be a member of a terrorist organization, let's extradite him to Turkey."

WE ARE NOT ADVOCATING A PERSON

Emphasizing that there is no need for a conviction for extradition, Gül expressed the following opinions:

" The concrete reason or doubt is enough for the extradition. Not fulfilling the extradition although there is strong evidence, still hosting the FETÖ leader there is an attitude which may damage the strategic friendship of the two countries as regard to fighting terrorism. Therefore, we wrote a letter to our American counterpart and wanted them to take necessary steps. In Istanbul again, warrant of arrests and extradition requests were made by the courts and offices of prosecutors. But no steps were taken in this regard. I think that somebody conveyed an effort for directing the trial there to be against Turkey and I also think some powers are effective on judicial mechanism. Here, we not advocating a person, we are defending an issue related with Turkey's interests."

WE ARE EXPECTING THE US TO TAKE NECESSARY STEPS

Stressing that Turkey would never host a terrorist offender of a strategic friend country, who constitutes a threat to the continuity of that country, Gül said that they surely expect the respect for bilateral agreements, the partnership feeling within the scope of the fighting terrorism, the respect required for being a human and state, and a support in terms of counterterrorism. Emphasizing that they are waiting for these extraditions, Gül announced that the files for the extradition are completed, there are no shortcomings, only the US's will is left, and they are waiting for the US to take the necessary steps.

IT MAY BE REVIEWED UNLESS THERE IS ANOTHER EVIDENCE

Pointing out the decision given by the Court of Cassation about ByLock, Gül said "There is a decision given by Court of Cassation about ByLock , ' It is used as a communication network of the terrorist organization, and it is one of the important proofs of the membership of the organization ...' Here, a study on the non-use of ByLock, if they are performed and completed by related institutions, may be reviewed if there is no other evidence related to them. Our related institutions are working in this regard." Minister Gül stressed that Turkey's main approach is the sensitivity in the direction of distinguishing the innocent and guilty, and wanted citizens to follow the explanations to be made on the issue.

Judiciary of Turkey