President Erdoğan says he ‘can't stomach’ Turkish high court decisions

Turkish President Erdoğan once again stated that he had been disturbed by the Constitutional Court (AYM) and Council of State’s rulings. During his travel back to Turkey after Egypt visit, he said he “can't stomach” the decisions of the AYM.

Duvar English

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 15 once again targeted Turkey's high judicial bodies while answering the questions of journalists on the plane on his return from his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.

The Council of State (Danıştay) on Feb 14. announced that it reinstated 435 judges and prosecutors who were dismissed from their jobs on the grounds “of liaison and affiliation with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).” The Council of State is the highest administrative court in the country.

President Erdoğan often takes journalists close to him and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to official state visits while traveling with plane. One of these journalists, implying the Council of State's decision, asked to him, "The Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) had an objection to this scandalous (decision), yet the Council of State did not take this objection into consideration. This scandal has also received a very serious reaction in the public opinion. We are curious about your thoughts and attitude on this issue."

HSK as a high judicial body controlling the appointments of the judges and prosecutors has been known for its closure to the government and Erdoğan.

Erdoğan replied that the government has been fighting with the “FETÖ” and even though they “have drained the swamp, they are still in the process of cleaning the flies.”

Erdoğan continued his analogies, “We tear the various masks off their faces and they are exposed. We will be on the neck of these weak-willed charlatans in every disguise. However, it is not possible for us to remain silent on this decision of the Council of State.”

Turkish President also stated that they would give the exact reaction they gave to the AYM when the high court have taken “strange decisions.” Erdoğan added that he “can’t stomach” the AYM rulings. 

Erdoğan also remarked that the Council of State “occasionally makes decisions that disturb them” while the Constitutional Court “does so more frequently.”

Even though the Erdoğan and his ruling People’s Alliance has been attacking AYM for years, the tension particularly has risen after Court of Cassation, top appeals court, dismissed the AYM ruling that found rights violations in Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) (former) lawmaker Can Atalay’s imprisonment.

Erdoğan is poised to secure a majority in the 15-member Constitutional Court by the end of 2024, as he will appoint three additional justices to the top court.