Turkish Justice Ministry has asked the prosecutors to convey the rulings in the cases of "insulting" President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a move that the Republican People's Party (CHP) slammed for putting pressure on the judiciary.
The ministry's Directorate General for Criminal Affairs asked the prosecutor's offices to send the rulings on the said cases, as well as those concerning opposition figures, daily Birgün reported on Jan. 12.
Among the cases that the Justice Ministry sought to know the final rulings of are on are those based on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which makes it illegal to denigrate the Turkish identity and the Turkish state.
If a non-prosecution decision is adopted in the aforementioned cases, whether an objection was filed needs to be conveyed as well, according to the ministry's orders.
CHP deputy leader Muharrem Erkek said that the move further hampers Turkey's judicial independence.
"Although it seems like a regular procedure, how can a judge who sees this notice not fall under pressure? How can they issue rulings independently?" Erkek asked, while also saying that the government can't carry out judicial reforms in this manner.
"The government needs to act accordingly if it seeks to build an impartial and independent judiciary. Justice is an issue of action rather than discourse. The judiciary is under heavy civilian tutelage. This mindset can't carry out reforms," he said.
"The aim of this notice is to tell the judges and prosecutors that they are under close surveillance."