Turkish main opposition CHP to hold rally against ‘judicial coup attempt’

Turkish main opposition CHP will hold a rally in the capital Ankara on Jan. 14 after the Court of Cassation’s second time refusal to comply with the Constitutional Court ruling on behalf of the release of jailed TİP deputy Can Atalay.

Ceren Bayar / Gazete Duvar

Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Özgür Özel on Jan. 4 announced their roadmap after the top appeals court’s second time dismissal of the Constitutional Court (AYM) ruling that found rights violations in Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) MP Can Atalay’s imprisonment.

Speaking after an extraordinary CHP Party Assembly meeting, Özel said the Gezi Trial, in which Atalay was sentenced to prison, was “a case of political hatred of Erdoğan.”

“The Gezi Trial is a case where Erdoğan punishes innocent people to legitimize himself. Can Atalay was elected as an MP from Hatay. The people of Hatay made the decision. When Can Atalay applied for a parliamentary seat, he was given a document saying that he could become an MP by the Supreme Election Council (YSK),” Özel said.

“Erdoğan tore up Article 153 (of the constitution). Five judges did this on his behalf. Erdoğan admitted that he was at the head of this coup attempt to abolish the constitution,” Özel said, referring to the article which says the decisions of the Constitutional Court are final and binding.

Özel added that they would also apply to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) for the removal of five Court of Cassation judges who refused to comply with the AYM ruling.

“On Jan. 14, we invite all our citizens to Tandoğan Square (in Ankara) at 1 p.m. for a big rally where we will defend democracy, our future, the constitution, our labor and our country,” Özel concluded.

What happened?

The 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation, Turkey's top appeals court, on Jan. 3 dismissed the second Constitutional Court (AYM) ruling that found rights violations in TİP MP Can Atalay’s imprisonment.

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 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.”

Atalay received an 18-year prison sentence for allegedly "attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey" during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

(English version by Alperen Şen)