TİP protests court’s second time refusal to release jailed MP Atalay

The Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP) has protested the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court sending the case regarding the release of jailed MP Can Atalay to the Court of Cassation once again despite the Constitutional Court ruling that this method was unconstitutional.

Duvar English

The Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP) on Dec. 28 protested the first instance court’s refusal to release jailed deputy Can Atalay despite the Constitutional Court (AYM) second ruling in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district. 

TİP leader Erkan Baş, Spokesperson Sera Kadıgil, Istanbul deputy Ahmet Şık, the opposition Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party deputies Celal Fırat and Ceylan Akça Cupolo, Kadıköy Mayor Şerdil Dara Odabaşı from the CHP also attended the protest, ANKA News Agency reported.

Speaking at the protest, TİP Party Assembly member and lawyer Özgür Urfa said that they have been fighting against the judicial coup and that they will continue to strengthen the fight.

“The Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court is not a court anymore. Yesterday, they openly committed a crime once again. They rebelled against the constitutional order and the Constitutional Court. We warn you once again here. Stop committing crimes. Do your duty. Go back to your constitutional line. Enforce the laws. Follow court orders. Don't be part of the judicial coup,” Urfa said.

Another Party Assembly member Meltem Kolgazi read the TİP’s official statement. 

“In accordance with Article 153 of the Constitution, the decisions of the Constitutional Court are binding on the legislative, executive and judicial bodies. While what the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court should do is to implement this decision of the Constitutional Court and release our MP Can Atalay, the court has once again said that it does not recognize the decision of the Constitutional Court and the law,” she said.

What happened?

The Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court, the first instance court which discussed the Constitutional Court's ruling on the release of lawmaker Atalay, on Dec. 27 sent the case to the Court of Cassation once again despite AYM's ruling that this method was unconstitutional.

The AYM first on Oct. 25 ruled by a majority of votes that there was a violation of rights in the case of Atalay in terms of "the right to vote and be elected and the right to personal security and liberty."

The top Turkish appeals court, the 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation, on Nov. 8 refused to comply with the AYM ruling. The court also filed a criminal complaint against AYM justices who voted for Atalay’s release, claiming they violated the constitution and exceeded their authority.

Then, the AYM on Dec. 26 released a statement and underscored that the "Court of Cassation has rendered a decision that is not found in Turkish law, stating non-compliance with the Constitutional Court's decision."

The AYM commented that referral of a case within the jurisdiction of the first-instance court to the Court of Cassation, top appeals court, and the latter’s decision disregarding constitutional provisions “clearly constituted a violation of the constitution.” 

The top court added, “In the end, the applicant's right to individual application secured in the article 148, the right to be elected and engage in political activities secured in the article 67, and the right to personal liberty and security secured in the article 19 were violated."