HCJP's announcement regarding the number of dismissed FETO members 14.11.2016

Deputy President and Head of the Second Chamber of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HCJP) Mehmet Yılmaz stated that 3,456 judges and prosecutors who are connected with and related to FETO were dismissed.

Deputy President and Head of the Second Chamber of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors Mehmet Yılmaz indicated that former Deputy President of the HCJP Ahmet Hamsici, former members of the HCJP Kerim Tosun and Mustafa Kemal Özçelik were among the judges and prosecutors who “confessed and repented” their ties to the organization. He added: "Each of these three figures applied to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and demanded to make use of the provisions of effective repentance law. In their statements, it was clearly indicated that the incoming files in the Court of Cassation were photocopied by the members of the organization and referred to the relevant person, the files of prominent persons and businessmen were sent to Pennsylvania and decisions were taken upon the instructions of the person in Pennsylvania."

In his statement to the journalists in his office, Yılmaz gave information regarding the proceedings carried out with respect to the judges and prosecutors within the scope of the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO).

Having stated that 300 judges and prosecutors had so far applied to make use of the effective repentance law, Yılmaz said that there was a certain extent of misconception regarding the judges and prosecutors who effectively repented their ties.

Mehmet Yılmaz continued as follows: "What is mistaken is that we have taken a decision under no circumstances, allowing the return to officeof the judges and prosecutors who have so far confessed to the crimes they committed and have now resorted to the effective repentance law."

Yılmaz stated that making use of the provisions of effective repentance law was important for judicial investigations and these investigations were conducted with respect to the mentioned judges and prosecutors due to membership of an armed terrorist organization and he added that these persons will be tried.

"WE HAVE SUSPENDED 3,696 JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS"

Yılmaz indicated that the law envisaged certain facilities as regards those who had confessed their crimes and given sincere statements in order to unveil the structure of the organization and that reduction in sentences and even impunity was possible. Yılmaz added: "This is already very encouraging for the suspects and accused persons but, as the HCJP, we have so far suspended 3,696 judges and prosecutors and 3,456 persons who are connected with or related to FETO, among whom 173 judges and prosecutors have served in the higher judiciary, have been dismissed."

Yılmaz also said that a final order had not yet been given on the dismissal of these persons and the re-examination process was maintained in this regard. He added: "No judges and prosecutors who confess or repent their ties have yet been returned to office. Our Council has neither clearly given such a decision yet."

Having indicated that the previous statements he made in this sense were mistaken, Yılmaz continued as follows:

"That day, we wanted to say that there would already be judicial facilities arising from the laws. As the State, we have indicated that we will provide any facility that we could as regards those who would showsincere repentance and who would decipher the organization. However, it is perceived by the public that the prosecutor who carried out the investigation of Cumhuriyet Newspaper made use of effective repentance and confession and now continues to perform his profession.This is not absolutely the case. This should be noted that there is no one who has returned to office upon effective repentance among the judges and prosecutors we have been suspended."

RELEASE OF CONFESSING MEMBERS OF THE HCJP

Mehmet Yılmaz underlined that former Deputy President of the HCJP Ahmet Hamsici, former members of the HCJP Kerim Tosun and Mustafa Kemal Özçelik were among those who confessed and repented their ties. He added the following remarks:

"Each of these three figures applied to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and demanded to make use of the provisions of effective repentance law. In their statements, they clearly explained how they became the members of the organization, how the organization turned out to be a gang and how the available judicial powers were used by the members of the organization, in favor of this organization. It was clearly indicated that the incoming files in the Court of Cassation were photocopied by the members of the organization and referred to the relevant person, the files of prominent persons and businessmen were sent to Pennsylvania and decisions were taken upon the instructions of the person in Pennsylvania. This was what I referred to as"hair raising confessions". We always said that 'judges and prosecutors should be impartial' but what we see is that this did not work well in the higher judiciary and the first instance courts. The files were finalized and the decisions were taken under the instructions of the organization. There are even files sent to Pennsylvania. As you may remember, former Minister of Justice Mehmet Ali Şahin also mentioned a file in his statement. As he said, the file was sent to Pennsylvania by the imam of the Court of Cassation and it was subjected to the actions taken upon the approval of the person in Pennsylvania. All heads of chamber were appointed in the Court of Cassation upon his approval between 2011 and 2013. None of these facts is not known by the public. All this is seen in the statements of those who witnessed and who were personally involved in the affairs of the organization. The elections for the membership of the Court of Cassation were bargained with Pennsylvania in 2010 and the members of the Court of Cassation were elected upon the nomination and dictate of the organization. Turkish judiciary was literally besieged. It was not possible to mention about impartial and independent judiciary. This was unfortunately how Turkish judiciary looked."

Yılmaz explained that the members of the organization announced these issues to the public in the relevant files through conspiracy and false evidence in the first instance courts when they took over the office following the HCJP elections in 2014. Yılmaz continued as follows:

"The same files regarding Oda TV, Hüseyin Kurtoğlu and Fenerbahçe were also based on conspiracy and false evidence in the higher judiciary. The judiciary also started to turn out to be FETO terrorist organization itself. Actions were definitely taken upon the directives and instructions of the organization in each important investigation. The severity of the problem is more easily understood when the statements of some judges and prosecutors in the first instance courts are examined."

"I UNDERSTOOD THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE LYING WHEN WE LOST THE ELECTIONS"

In the confessions, some members of the Court of Cassation indicated that they travelled to various provinces in Turkey, before the HCJP elections in 2014, upon the instruction and financing of the organization even though they had nothing to do in those provinces and they personally participated in the propagandas in the elections of the judges of the first instance courts.

Having given examples from the statements of the confessors, Yılmaz indicated that the statement of one of the judges was quite interesting. He said:

"In his statement, the judge indicated that a member of the Court of Cassation told him that 'Fetullah Gülen saw the Prophet Mohammed in his dream. The Prophet asked Gülen 'whether he was sad' when he saw him very unhappy. And he nodded at the Prophet. Then, the Prophet told Gülen 'not to be unhappy since the independent candidates would win the HCJP elections in 2014 and Turkey would be winning as well.' This judge says that 'he understood they were lying when the independent candidates lost the elections.' This judge who could understand that this was a lie only after losing the elections served as a judge for 10 years in this country. We are mentioning a judge who could understand that this superstition was a lie after losing the elections."

Mehmet Yılmaz conveyed that former Deputy President of the HCJPAhmet Hamsici had said in his statement that "they emerged by saying that 'they would raise a golden generation' but they ended up with a murderer generation."

"JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS WITH ABSOLUTE IMPARTIALITY, CLEAR CONSCIENCE AND FREE MIND"

Having emphasized that they only wanted to ensure that only the future of Turkish nation would be in safety, Yılmaz continued as follows:

"It is obviously seen that Turkish judiciary, Turkish politics, Turkish economy will not be relieved without resolving the FETO problem. If we imagine a future in a peaceful, safe, trustful, non-discriminatory and fair world, this will only be possible with independent and impartial judiciary. It is only possible with knowledgeable judges and prosecutors who have absolute impartiality, do not follow the instructions of anyone, act in clear conscience and free mind. Our sole purpose has been to save Turkish judiciary from the strange situation it fell in since 2014. We have nothing to do with the names. We only examine the evidence gathered with respect to the judges and prosecutors. If they are related to the organization, we decide to dismiss them under the power granted by the decree law."

Having conveyed that the confessors explained in their statements how they had become the members of the organization, how the organization had turned out to be a gang and they had held the meetings, Yılmaz added: "For example, it is very interesting that the current members of the HCJP who confessed their ties with the organization also stated that they casted votes regarding the discipline files in the Council under the instructions of the organization.They say that they did not vote by their own will but upon the instruction imposed on them by the members of the HCJP who were related to the organization."

Deputy President Yılmaz indicated that he also went to Strasbourg and conveyed all this to Europe. He said that Turkish judiciary went far from impartiality, that a criminal gang, a crime ring, a terrorist organization hijacked the judiciary and the other state institutions in Turkey and that they used their existing powers in line with the interests of the organization.

Having said that he conveyed to Europe that the forthright evidence of this was clearly seen in the statements that the members of the organization made by making use of the effective repentance law, he said: "I hope this will be an important lesson for us in the following terms and Turkish judiciary will not face such events again."

"WE VOTED UPON NAZMİ DERE'S INSTRUCTIONS"

Having answered the questions of the journalists, Yılmaz indicated, upon a question, that the statements show that İlyas Şahin, member of the Court of Cassation called "imam of the Court of Cassation" personally sent the files to the USA and helped to finalize them upon the instruction of the person in the USA.

Yılmaz also reported that the members of the HCJP indicated in their statements that "they convened and voted upon the instruction of the big brother of the HCJP and the member of the Court of Cassation Nazmi Dere."

Upon a question regarding the elections in the Court of Cassation, Yılmaz said that the statements showed that "no head of chamber could be elected without visa from Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2013, after 160 new members were elected in the Court of Cassation."

"TURKISH JUDICIARY WENT FAR FROM BEING THE JUDICIAL ORGAN"  

Yılmaz made the following assessments:

"They say that 'no head of chamber could be elected without visa from the organization and they led the elections to a dead end if they did not want the candidate to win.' This shows that FETO took full control in the judiciary. It was obviously seen in the discipline files we examined that the judiciary was largely besieged. However, everyone made comments, taking the victim into account. We see at this point that we were right. Turkish judiciary went far from being the judicial organ. Turkish nation did not lose its confidence in Turkish judiciary overnight. We now see in the confessions that the investigations were carried out under the instructions of the organization in all institutions from the first instance courts to the higher judiciary and even to the police.

"CONSPIRACY PERIOD IS OVER IN THE JUDICIARY"

Our duty is to dismiss from office all the elements related to FETO in the judiciary and all the judges and prosecutors who are related to the other terrorist organizations, if available, and to allow the judges and prosecutors who put justice at the center of their life and who are literally impartial, to remain in office.

Conspiracy period is over in the judiciary. Conviction is no longer possible upon false evidence. Lawfully gathered and convincing evidence will be used from now on. This is the beginning of a transparent judicial period. I hope it will continue in this direction."

INVESTIGATION OF CUMHURİYET NEWSPAPER

Upon the questions regarding the conspiracy investigation of Selam Tevhid case carried out in the HCJP with respect to Prosecutor Murat İnam who conducted the investigation of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Mehmet Yılmaz indicated that he did not want to bring forward any comment in this matter since the trial had not yet ended.

It was reminded that the request for Prosecutor İnam's dismissal under the discipline investigation of the HCJP was found inadmissible by one-vote majority (4-3) and Yılmaz voted for the "dismissal" of the prosecutor. Upon such notice, Yılmaz said:

"The file of Murat İnam was submitted with the file of Selam Tevhit case one and a half year ago. The file of that time is obviously seen now. The trial process is pending according to that report. Our friends serving as inspector conducted the examination related to the judges and prosecutors who had been connected with and related to FETO since 2014.He was not engaged in the same examination process.He was mentioned under another investigation. This is a problem related with the trial process. He will be tried before the Court of Cassation and the latter will take a decision in this regard. He is not subject to any assessment under this work. The inspectors who conduct the FETO investigation have not identified him for being related to the organization. This person was only involved in the disciplinary investigations carried out under the Selam Tevhid case and he is tried within the scope of that file. The investigation conducted with respect to the FETO membership was another investigation."

"CASE FILES SUCH AS THE SLEDGEHAMMER AND MILITARY SPYING WERE SENT TO THE USA"

Yılmaz pointed out that there were ongoing works with respect to the identification of the members of the organization and said: "We are determined to clear the judiciary from anyone who is proved to be connected with or related to the organization through concrete evidence within the scope of this investigation. This is the pledge that the HCJP General Assembly gives to Turkish nation."

Upon the following question, Deputy President Yılmaz underlined that it was understood in the statements that the case files like the Sledgehammer and Military Spying, known as conspiracy cases in the public, were sent to the USA through private courier services.

As a response to another question, Yılmaz said: "It is already seen in the statements that even the chambers in the Court of Cassation were conscientiously formed and especially the 9th Criminal chamber and the 4th Law chamber were among the important chambers formed by the members of the organization. It is also indicated in the statements that the important chambers of the Court of Cassation were formed in a manner that the militants of the organization would constitute the majority."

Judiciary of Turkey