COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED TO ADDRESS GRIEVANCES AGAINST STATE OF EMERGENCY DECREES
Daily Sabah Editor-in-Chief Serdar Karagöz (L) and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
Prime Minister Yıldırım said the July 15 coup attempt had created a trauma and FETÖ, responsible for the act, still posed a threat. "More than 100,000 public servants were suspended or fired through governmental decrees. Mistakes can be made during such major operations and the necessary judicial process to rectify those mistakes is in place."
There were certain instances where judges ignored governmental decrees to disregard anonymous tips and started investigations without the necessary due process, Yıldırım said, adding that there were also officials who tried to exploit the anti-FETÖ operations to get back at some people. "As soon as the state of emergency was declared, we put in place certain regulations to prevent abuse. People are suspended or fired accordingly. Anyone can appeal this. There have been some 19,000 instances where such decisions were revoked. There are over 100,000 appeal applications."
Yıldırım said a State of Emergency Decrees Investigation Commission was founded to look into these appeals. "They will start looking into the applications within the next few weeks. Until now, people who took the decision to fire or suspend were looking into their own decisions. It was not fair but we had no other option. Now there is a legally accepted appeals process. People can take their grievances up to the European Court of Human Rights."
On the firing of academics, Yıldırım said: "There is an impression that the process was exploited by some who took advantage of the process to take revenge on others."
"The government released a set of principles that governed the process but had no way of investigating the decisions in detail," said the prime minister. "There are two ways one can be fired or suspended pending an investigation. They are either having links to the separatist group [PKK] or ties with the FETÖ. Without these two causes, no one should be fired or suspended."
He said universities sent a list of people who should be fired or suspended to the Higher Education Board (YÖK), which in turn sent the list to the Prime Ministry. "People on the lists are not assessed individually. That's not something we have the capacity to handle."
However, now those with grievances can apply to the committee to get their cases reassessed, he said. "Still, some academics are refusing to lodge applications. Their pride was hurt but there is a way to fix the mistake. "They should utilize their right to appeal."
The committee would consist of seven members and several subcommittees to handle the case load, Yıldırım added. "This is not something that will be finished in a few months. It will take a lot of work and a long time."