Mass Dismissals of Judges and Prosecutors in Turkey of Post-Coup Period
Concrete data regarding the dismissal of judges and prosecutors after the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016
21 April 2022
After 15 July 2016, the procedures regarding the dismissal of judges and prosecutors are not carried out transparently by the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK). Numerical data are not fully shared with the public. The demands of members of parliament, journalists, national and international institutions regarding this issue are not fully met.
The data on the dismissal of judges and prosecutors, the investigations initiated against them, the detention and detention measures implemented, have been compiled as follows, based on the figures published by theofficial institutions.
NUMBER OF JUDGES-PROSECUTORS EXPELLED
The Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has decided to dismiss 4360 judges or prosecutors with 20decisions taken at different times since 16 July 2016. 140 members of the Court of Cassation, 48 members of the Council of State and 5 members of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors are included in the issue in question.
This number does not include the names of the 2 members of the Constitutional Court dismissed by the Presidency of the Constitutional Court. When included, the number would be 4362.
THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN REINSTATED
After the dismissals, the HSK evaluated the demands of the dismissed judges and prosecutors, reinstated 166 of the dismissed judges and prosecutors on different dates, and published them both on its website and in the Official Gazette.
All decisions of the HSK regarding the recruitment and dismissal of judges and prosecutors must be published in the Official Gazette in accordance with Article 3 of Law No. 6749. Despite this clear provision, the HSK did not publish in the Official Gazette all the names of the judges and prosecutors that it reinstated to the profession after dismissal. For this reason, despite being reinstated to the profession, there are few judges and prosecutors whose numerical information we do not have.
NUMBER OF JUDGES PROSECUTORS DETAINED, ARRESTED, or RELEASED with JUDICIAL CONTROL
Of the 4,362 judicial members who were expelled, 166 were reinstated to their professions. According to the figures announced, 4,189 members of the judiciary were definitively dismissed between 2016-2021.
There is no complete clarity in the data released by the official authorities about how many of the expelled members of the judiciary have been put on security measures.
The clearest information on this issue is the decision of the Constitutional Court, dated 26.7.2017, by Selçuk Özdemir (Application number: 2016/49158) in the context of individual application. Paragraphs 18 and 19 of the said decision of the Court are as follows:
“According to the data of the Ministry, the number of judiciary members under investigation as of 24/7/2017 within the scope of FETÖ/PDY investigations is 4,664. 1,311 of these persons were released by applying judicial control measures, and 97 of them were released without applying any such judicial measures. Moreover, no judicial action, such as arrest or detention, was carried out against 251 members of the judiciary, against whom investigations were carried out. On the other hand, detention measures were taken against 2,431 members of the judiciary, including members of the high court. In addition to these, 297 members of the judiciary were released after a period of detention was imposed on them; judicial control measures were applied to 274 of the released 297. Furthermore, there are 271 members of the judiciary who have fled and for whom arrest warrants have been issued by the investigation/prosecution authorities, and the detention process continues for 6 other judiciary members.”
“On the other hand, during the process, over 4,500 members of the judiciary who were assessed by the HSYK (High Council of Judges and Prosecutors) to be related to FETÖ/PDY were suspended and dismissed from their positions. In this framework, the General Assembly of the HSYK, 2.847 judges and prosecutors on 24/8/2016, 543 on 31/8/2016, 66 on 4/10/2016, 203 on 15/11/2016, 227 on 13/2/2017, 202 on 17/3/2017 3/4/2017, 45 on 3/4/2017, and 107 on 5/5/2017 were expelled from the profession. The re-evaluation requests of some of them were accepted by the General Assembly of the HSYK and the expulsion decisions were withdrawn.”
The numerical data included in the decision of the Constitutional Court and notified to the Court by the Ministry of Justice are valid for dismissals made until 24.7.2017.
According to the Constitutional Court Decision, it is understood that the following criminal security measures were imposed on some of the 424 judicial members who were suspended but not dismissed, and all of the dismissed 4,240 members of the judiciary:
|Type of criminal security measures applied within the scope of criminal investigations initiated against suspended or dismissed members of the judiciary||Number of members of the judiciary about whom a decision was made|
|1. Those who are not detained after suspension and/or expulsion||251|
|2. Those who were taken into custody after being suspended and/or expelled, but for whom a judicial control decision was made instead of arrest||1.311|
|3. Those still under detention after suspension and/or expulsion||6|
|4. Those who were taken into custody after being suspended and/or expelled, but for whom no arrest or judicial control decision was made.||97|
|5. Those arrested after detention and/or expulsion||2.431|
|6. Those released after arrest||297|
|7. Of the 297 released persons, those against whom judicial control measures were applied||274|
|8. Those for whom an arrest warrant has been issued for their arrest because they could not be found after their suspension and/or expulsion.||271|
It is certain that criminal investigations have been initiated against 4,370 members of the judiciary within the framework of headings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 in the table above. The numerical data included in the 6th and 7th headings are the criminal procedural actions carried out in relation to the detained judiciary members.
As it is stated in the Constitutional Court decision that the total number of judicial members suspended and/or dismissed is 4,664, the number of judicial members for whom no criminal investigation has been initiated or who have not been notified by the HSK (The Council of Judges and Prosecutors) is 294.
NUMBER OF JUDICIARY MEMBERS EXPELLED IN THE LIGHT OF THE STATEMENTS MADE BY THE INSTITUTIONS’ REPRESENTATIVES
The most up-to-date information on the number of dismissed members of the judiciary is the statement made by Vice President Fuat Oktay on 14 July 2021. Oktay made the following statements in his statement on the subject: “The number of terrorists disguised as judges and public prosecutors who have been expelled since July 15 is 3,968”.
Until this date, the number of members of the judiciary whose dismissal was decided by the HSK and published in the Official Gazette is 4,340. After this date, the HSK decided to reinstate 13 members of the judiciary with its decision dated 1.10.221. The number of members of the judiciary reinstated until this date is 166.
According to the figures officially announced on the date of the announcement made by Vice President Fuat Oktay, the number of dismissed members of the judiciary is 4,174 (4,340-166). We do not have any clear data on the reason for the difference (4.174-3.968=206). There are two possibilities here. Either the data shared by Vice President Fuat Oktay is wrong or there are reinstate orders given by the HSK but not published on its website or in the Official Gazette.