The historic phrase "There are still judges in Berlin" is now viable for Turkey in the current context. Some politicians in the EU and Germany and U.S. President Donald Trump had to learn this fact: "There are still judges in Turkey," as Turkey is a state of law. In a state of law, those suspected or charged of an offense appear before a judge and the judge gives a verdict, which is the exact case in Turkey. A person standing trial receives equal treatment whether a Turkish, German or U.S. citizen. The only thing that matters is ensuring the interest of justice.
Even if the German media attempts to press on the Turkish judiciary for the release of a person standing trial in Turkey by spreading fabricated news about the defendant, Turkish judges would not allow this. Over the last two years, those who tried to threaten Turkey's independent courts must have discerned that they will never reach their goals. For instance, German media went on a rampage for a Turkish-German journalist detained in Turkey although the journalist was not charged for something related to journalism but for various offenses irrelevant to his profession. His colleagues in Germany who looked down on his professional works beforehand spread the lie that he was tried for his writings, which was absolutely wrong. Turkey-German relations went through a tough period for this reason. Likewise, some politicians who are curious to listen to the lies of terror groups instead of facts used this situation as an opportunity to denigrate Turkey.
So, they seem to have forgotten or ignored the fact that "there are still judges in Turkey." Eventually, the court charged him for the offense that was proven he committed. He was released since the time he served in jail in Turkey covered the sente
- ce. And as he is a dual citizen, he returned to the country he preferred.
Lately, we have observed a similar case in a trial of a Turkish-German female journalist and her Turkish citizen husband. This journalist was tried not for her professional activities, but for her alleged links to a terror group that is also illegal in Germany. German media once again misrepresented the case by ignoring the Turkish judiciary but justice did not yield to such attempts of pressure while the rules of a state of law were in full force. As a result of the trial, the journalist and her husband were released after the allegations were proven wrong. The independent judiciary did not pay heed to the blatant propaganda in Germany.
Over the past weeks, Turkey-U.S. relations reached a historic low due to a U.S. citizen pastor arrested in Turkey. The pastor was detained and tried following the atrocious coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. After remaining silent to his arrest for one-and-a-half years, the U.S. was suddenly mobilized for the pastor in the run up to the midterm elections. Trump even threatened Turkey and demanded for his acquittal. To influence the judges in Turkey, the U.S. exerted pressure on Turkey in many fields by overlooking the fact that there is an independent judicial system.
Turkish judges maintained the trial without being affected by the Turkey-U.S. rift and gave a final verdict. Since the defendant has already served jail for the charges he was convicted of, he was released and returned to his country.
Both the U.S. and the EU must conceive that their pressures cannot affect Turkey's independent courts. Neither the Turkish president nor the government could interfere with the judiciary on that matter as the final verdict is issued by the judge. And the latest cases set an example to that.
As of late, Turkey's determined compliance to the rules of a state of law has been manifested during the efforts to shed light on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish police have exerted utmost effort regarding the case. Turkey has taken strict measures upon the allegations that Khashoggi was tortured, murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate. Therefore, the country set an example to the world with its efforts to protect the journalist and is ready to call the perpetrators to account if he was really murdered. The world is now bearing witness to the smooth functioning of the Turkish state of law. When necessary, Saudi Arabia will also have to face the fact that there are independent judges in Turkey.
In brief, they must let Turkey's judges do their jobs as they are already showing great care in making the best decisions in independent courts.
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