Binali Yildirim says new judicial reforms will be introduced
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday that Turkey's fight against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt, is crucial for the revival of trust in its judiciary.
Speaking at the Justice Council at the Bestepe Culture and Congress Center in Ankara, Turkish PM said: “The fight against FETO is Turkey's fight for independence, its future as well as the judicial system’s struggle for trust in justice.”
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Yildirim said some circles, without elaborating, have damaged the judicial system by trying to use it as a tool to farther its interests, rather than secure justice.
He added that the ongoing trials against FETO suspects would conclude till the end of this year.
Trials against coup plotters
“There are two types of trials currently going on [across Turkey]. The first one is against the people who were directly involved in the coup attempt.
"These are proceedings in progress. I hope that all the cases related to the people directly involved in the coup will be concluded until the end of this year."
"The second type of cases is related to the membership of the [FETO terrorist] organization. They are numerically very large,” he noted, and said there can be no compromise on democracy, law, justice, fundamental rights and freedom.
Hundreds of defendants in numerous cases across Turkey are accused of being involved in the defeated coup as well as being members of FETO, which attempted to overthrow the government and the constitutional order and commit murder on the night of July 15, 2016.
A total of 486 defendants -- mostly former military officers -- have been standing trial for their alleged involvement in incidents at Akinci, an air base to the north of the capital Ankara which was renamed Murted after the defeated coup.
The coup plotters had established a command center in the base to coordinate attacks, including fighter jets’ attacks at the parliament and Presidential Palace.
A total of 143 soldiers have also been standing trial for incidents at Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge, renamed as the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge, on the night of defeated coup.
Another trial, known as the palace case, involved 534 defendants and is related to attacks on the Presidential Palace and the offices of state broadcaster TRT in Ankara on July 15, 2016.
Yildirim said that number of appeal courts of forensic division of judiciary, currently operating in 9 centers, will be increased to 15.
“We will soon bring a new reform package to the Grand [National] Assembly that includes a series of reforms to increase confidence in the judiciary and accelerate judicial proceedings,” he added.