The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) reassigned 3,746 prosecutors and judges yesterday. Although it is a routine practice to reassign thousands of prosecutors and judges every summer, the ultimate judiciary authority's move is a curious event closely monitored by the media since authorities launched a purge of members of the Gülen Movement. As has been the case over the past two years, the HSYK removed several people linked to the movement from their posts in Istanbul and other big cities and reassigned them to remote cities.
The Gülen Movement, led by fugitive retired imam Fethullah Gülen, is accused of two coup attempts in 2013 through its infiltrators in law enforcement and the judiciary. Gülenist prosecutors assigned to multiple cases have been subjected to a nationwide purge since the two coup attempts in the guise of anti-graft probe were revealed. Judges and prosecutors involved in the probes and sham trials to imprison critics of the Gülen Movement, have either been removed from duty or reassigned to lower offices since then while some face prison terms in ongoing trials.
Ali Güngör, an Istanbul prosecutor who was among those who conducted the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 "coup" probes in 2013, was among those reassigned. Güngör was appointed prosecutor in Kilis, a city on the country's southern border with Syria. Cemil Tuğtekin, another Istanbul prosecutor accused of links with the Gülen Movement and implicated in a plot to imprison a police chief opposed to the movement, was reassigned to the eastern city of Van. Güngör was already demoted after receiving an illegal donation for a vacation abroad with Zekeriya Öz, another prosecutor involved in "coup" probes and sham trials allegedly perpetrated by Gülenists. Öz remains at large and is believed to be in Europe. He fled last year following a string of trials he was accused of membership in the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the name given to the offshoot of Gülen Movement behind the coup attempts.
Meanwhile, the HSYK promoted Okan Özsoy, a prosecutor who handled the case of former police chiefs linked to the Gülen Movement to a higher office. Özsoy's probe led to the detentions and arrests of 143 defendants allegedly involved in illegal Gülenist wiretapping of hundreds of people.