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Top Turkish judge critical of Erdogan

25 April 2014

Prime Minister Erdogan had to endure the discomfort of a speech made by the head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, Hasim Kilic.

The top judge delivered a blazing speech which was critical of the government for violating citizen’s rights. Speaking at the 52nd anniversary of the foundation of the court which was attended by PM Erdogan and President Gul, Kilic made reference to the recent Constitutional Court ruling which reversed a ruling to block Twitter. The judge described Erdogan’s reaction to the court ruling as “disproportionate”.North Cyprus News - PM Erdogan and President Gul

“In states under the rule of law, courts neither work according to orders and instructions nor are they directed by friendships and enmities. The ruling merely determined that an executive procedure has no legal basis,” Kilic said.

Erdogan had been angered by the Constitutional Court’s verdict that the government’s ban on Twitter was unconstitutional, saying he “does not respect the decision.” He has since made an individual application to the court demanding that the block on Twitter be reintroduced on the grounds that his personal rights were breached on the social media website.

The court had ordered authorities to lift the ban on Twitter on 2nd April, adding that it constituted a violation of free speech guaranteed by Article 26 of the Constitution.

During his speech today, Kilic reiterated that the judges “understand” all the reactions. However, “We don’t have a character that can keep changing clothes. In the same way that we stood by the citizens whose rights were violated yesterday, we will keep standing by them against anyone today,” he said.

Kilic also condemned the way Erdogan had lashed out against his opponents saying that it was “hate speech” spurred by political motives. Kilic also warned of an “emotional disengagement” in society. “We can promise you that our determined stance to protect the value of human honour will continue,” he added.

The judge also referred to the government’s moves against the allegedly Gulenist “parallel structure” within the state.

“The allegations about an unregistered structure create fear, worry and uncertainty, very negatively affecting professional relationships. The name of this allegation that is directed at the judiciary is the corruption of conscience,” Kilic said.

 

Hurriyet

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