Erdoğan appoints judge of politically motivated cases as deputy justice minister

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has appointed Akın Gürlek, a judge known to have sentenced several opposition politicians and activists in politically motivated cases, as deputy justice minister.

Duvar English

Akın Gürlek, a judge known to have defied a Constitutional Court ruling and sentenced opposition politicians and activists, has been appointed as deputy justice minister as per a presidential decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The appointment was released in the Official Gazette on June 2.

In 2020, Gürlek failed to implement a Constitutional Court decision that said the rights of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Enis Berberoğlu had been violated when he was stripped of his parliamentary rights and arrested. 

Gürlek's failed to lift charges levied against Berberoğlu when the Constitutional Court declared legal processes against him unlawful.

Gürlek also oversaw several politically motivated cases, including the conviction of daily Sözcü journalists. He also sentenced former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş to four years and eight months in prison on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda, and sentenced CHP Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu to nine years and eight months in prison for her social media posts.

Gürlek also declared journalist Can Dündar a fugitive after he fled to Germany, and ruled that the state could confiscate his property. Additionally, he sentenced the head of the Turkish Medical Association Şebnem Korur Fincancı to two and a half years in prison on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda.