1932-dated lawsuit still ongoing in Turkey: Justice Minister Bozdağ
by Daily Sabah with AA
ISTANBULJan 14, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with AA
Jan 14, 2016 12:00 am
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ signaled on Thursday an upcoming reformation in the justice system to shorten the trial periods to make the process more effective. Bozdağ made the comments in the Annual Ambassadors Conference held in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Talking about the malfunctions in the justice system, the minister said, "According to the reports I've received, the earliest-dated lawsuit is from 1933; after that, there is a lawsuit filed in 1939. In the upcoming period, we will a make special regulation to settle such lawsuits."
"It is indicated by everyone that the delayed justice is not justice. And this [amendment in regulation] is a reform that will hinder any delaying in justice, proceedings," Bozdağ said.
The minister also touched upon the issue of terrorism saying, "Turkey is the only country that fights against terror, paying attention to the state of law principle."
"I do not think there is such another country [in the world]. Turkey will continue its fight against terror in the framework of state of law principle," Bozdağ added.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency later in the day, Bozdağ said that Turkey will soon seek the extradition of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gülen in connection with the 'parallel state' probe.
Gülen, who is self-exiled in the U.S., has been accused of leading a terrorist organization and plotting to overthrow the elected Turkish government.
The network led by Gülen is accused of wiretapping senior Turkish government figures, including the prime minister, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief, Cabinet ministers as well as journalists through serving state officials.
Noting that the Justice Ministry has already asked Interpol to issue a red notice for the self-exiled cleric, Bozdağ said that extradition would be a better choice, since Gülen's whereabouts are known.
"We think it would be more appropriate to start the extradition procedure for Fetullah Gülen. Because we know the country he lives in, and his address," he said, adding that they would soon submit an extradition request to the U.S. Department of Justice in line with an agreement on extradition and mutual legal assistance.
"We are hoping that the United States will respond favorably to our extradition request for a person who is involved in unlawful activities against Turkey. The decision is up to them. However, we expect them to give us a positive response," he said.
Bozdağ added that it would be even better if Gülen came to Turkey himself to appear in court and respond to the allegations directed at him.
"He can freely come to Turkey. There is no law or regulation banning his entry. He can come and defend himself," Bozdağ said. "Right now there are a lot of people who are being tried for crimes allegedly committed as part of the organization headed by Fetullah Gulen."
"I think it would be the right thing for him to come here and respond to the allegations in person so that the truth may be revealed. I hereby invite him once more to Turkey," Bozdağ added.