Justice Minister urges local courts to comply with top court's rulings on former CHP MP Berberoğlu's case

Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül has said that the Constitutional Court's (AYM) rulings are “binding” and the law makes it compulsory for local courts to comply with them, after the top court ruled in favor of former CHP MP Enis Berberoğlu for the second time in less five months.

This file photo shows former CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu.

Duvar English

Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on Jan. 22 the Constitutional Court's (AYM) rulings are “binding,” a day after the top court once again ruled former main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Enis Berberoğlu's right to participate in politics and to personal freedom and security have been violated. 

“[Constitutional Court's decisions] can be criticized but this does not mean that they will not be applied. Decisions are there to be applied. In the state of law, rules and decrees ordered by the law are valid. This is what needs to happen within the framework of the Constitutional Court's decisions,” Gül told reporters. 

This is the second time that the Constitutional Court ruled Berberoğlu's rights have been breached. In September, the top court ruled in favor of the former CHP MP, but the local court's stance on the issue remained the same, leading Berberoğlu to file another application with the Constitutional Court in October.

Berberoğlu was sentenced to five years and 10 months in jail in the case into a story on National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks filled with weapons bound for Syria. He was accused of providing footage of the trucks to journalist Can Dündar and was sent to prison in 2017.

Even though he was re-elected as a lawmaker in 2018 general elections, the parliament, led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), stripped him from office.

The Constitutional Court ruled that Beberoğlu’s immunity could not have been removed and that his imprisonment had violated his rights, ordering a retrial of the case. However, the top court's ruling has been defied by the local courts.

Gül 'curses' insult directed towards Soylu's mother

Justice Minister Gül also commented on the recent row with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, in which Soylu had blasted the judiciary for not arresting a man who insulted his mother.

Gül said that he “curses” the insult directed towards Soylu's mother on social media and “believes” the man who used the insulting phrase “will get the punishment he deserves in front of the law.”

“The honor of women are above everything else. We put mothers n high honor. I curse the inhumane attack, phrases towards our Interior Minister's mother. I believe that the person who used those despicable remarks will get the punishment that he deserves. If there is a need in the law with regards to this issue, of course evaluations could be made,” he said.

On Jan. 20, Soylu blasted the judiciary for not arresting the social media user who insulted his mother. 

"My mother has been in the hospital for 45 days. This vile person who swore underneath the picture of me and my mother was brought to court and freed on condition of judicial control," Soylu tweeted on Jan. 20. 

"What should I do? What difference does it make that I'm a minister? What's the meaning when I can't protect my mother's honor while I deal with the issues of the people and the state?" he further asked. 

In response, Gül said that he would not receive orders to arrest people, in a clear reference to Soylu's remarks.

"I'm addressing those who give orders to me to arrest people on social media: The Turkish Republic is a state of law," Gül said on Jan. 21.