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Arrest of Prosecutor in Turkey Exposes Tensions Between Secular and Religious Turks

from NYT > Turkey by By SEBNEM ARSU
Concerns that justice officials are playing politics follow the arrest of a prosecutor accused of seeking to undermine the government.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (L) chairs a National Security ...

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul (L) chairs a National Security Council meeting with Turkey’s top military commanders in Ankara February 19, 2010. REUTERS/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace Press Office/Handout

HSYK decision puts members’ knowledge of criminal law under spotlight
Today’s Zaman
Cihaner faces charges of membership in a terrorist organization named Ergenekon and the falsification of documents. Prominent jurists strongly criticized

Arrest of Turkish Prosecutor Stokes Concerns
Wall Street Journal
An investigation into an alleged conspiracy known as Ergenekon, initially welcomed when it was launched in 2007 by the EU and Turks weary of military

Cihaner file in İstanbul, suspects en route, bypassing ‘judicial coup’
Today’s Zaman
According to many observers, the file is likely to be undertaken by an Ergenekon prosecutor and merged with the Ergenekon case. Ergenekon is a terrorist
Politicized judiciary poses threat to separation of powers in Turkey
Sunday’s Zaman
The annulment of this major step for Turkish democracy was an impediment for many military personnel-related investigations, especially the Ergenekon

A Crisis Coming: The Making of Political Theatre

from Turkish Politics in Action by Ragan Updegraff

Erzincan Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner / PHOTO from Radikal

The showdown in the judiciary following the detention of one prosecutor by another prosecutor has now sparked heated accusations and dramatic claims of political meddling and illegal intervention — the stuff from which Turkish political crises are made. Turkish judicial institutions have long been criticized as politicized, susceptible to being used as supposedly legal means to the political ends of the players and motivations that constitute the country’s political theater. The last major political crisis here ended in a very narrow decision by the Constitutional Court not to close the ruling political party, which portrays itself, and to large extent is, opposed to the traditional, “secularist” elite.

TSK blocked prosecutors investigating military suspects
Today’s Zaman
Records of prosecutors carrying out an investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine crime network that has alleged links within the state and is suspected of

No democracy with this sort of justice!

by HASAN CEMAL-  MİLLİYET

The justice system in Turkey — with the power of the military behind it, of course — uses the regular courts to maintain control over the administrative power and management in the nation, while using the constitutional courts to maintain control over legislation in the nation.

The Feb. 17 coup:justice system?s suicide

by MUSTAFA ÜNAL – ZAMAN

And so here we have the latest debate to stir things up. I am talking about the decision by the HSYK to revoke the authority of four prosecutors. There is still no answer from the HSYK as to which information or documents this decision was based upon.

MÜMTAZER TÜRKÖNE – Judgment versus judgment

The current situation is not only a crisis for the judiciary although this is how it seems. The crisis is much bigger and deeper than that. There is a judicial oligarchy within the judiciary?s power. This oligarchy is integrated with the tradition of military coups in Turkey.

BÜLENT KORUCU – I thought courts were independent

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has undersigned another controversial decision. Osman Şanal, the prosecutor conducting an investigation into Erzincan Chief Public Prosecutor İlhan Cihaner, has been stripped of his authority along with four other prosecutors on the grounds that they exceeded the scope of their authority.

FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK – A troubled judicial system

Calls for judicial reform have arisen in Turkey following the latest judicial crisis over a decision by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) to strip an Erzurum prosecutor of his special authority because of his investigation into another prosecutor on suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization and falsification of documents.

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