Turkey’s top judicial body relocates 500 judges, prosecutors

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) changed the posts of 506 judges and prosecutors, including those facing investigations related to bribery and other charges.

Duvar English

Over 500 judges and prosecutors were reassigned within the scope of the autumn decree of the the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) based on excuses in the judicial and administrative courts for the year 2023.

Accordingly, a total of 506 judges and prosecutors, 480 in the judicial courts and 26 in the administrative courts were reassigned on “compassionate grounds.”

Anadolu Chief Public Prosecutor Gökalp Kökçü, who have been conducting illegal betting investigations against social media influencers Polat and Öz couples and Tuzlaspor President Mehmet Berzan İlhanlı, was also reassigned to a post in Eastern Erzurum Regional Administrative Court.

Some claimed that this change was made by the HSK due to three ongoing separate investigations against Kökçü for bribery allegations. New prosecutors will be appointed by the Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to the investigations carried out by Kökçü which are closely followed by Turkey.

Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Mesut Erdinç Bayhan, who was heard as a witness by the HSK inspectors on the bribery allegations at the courthouse, was also reassigned as a prosecutor at Istanbul Regional Court of Justice.

Former İzmir Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Okan Bato, who was charged with “acting together with the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) established in İzmir,” was transferred from southern Antalya Regional Court of Justice to eastern Erzincan province. The criminal proceedings against Bato are still ongoing.

In early October, Istanbul Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor İsmail Uçar sent a letter to Turkey’s top judicial body HSK to warn that some judges took bribes, engaged in misconduct, and formed “judicial cliques.”