The only and absolute power that has the ability to decide on a foreigner's detention in Turkey is the independent and objective Turkish courts, the president of the court of cassation said yesterday, referring to U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson who is under house arrest in the western province of İzmir.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new judicial year, President of the Court of Cassation İsmail Rüştü Cirit said that leaving the judiciary, which is being used on behalf of the Turkish people, at the hands of any other authority either within or outside the state would be the end of its sovereignty.
In September 2016, Andrew Brunson, a pastor for the last 20 years at the Evangelic Resurrection Church in the western city of İzmir, was arrested in Turkey for alleged links to the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), who orchestrated an attempted coup on July 15, 2016. The incident caused tension between Turkey and the U.S. as the latter aimed to pressure the country and interfere into the judicial process to release Brunson. "The foreign states, which have the claim to be the bearer of the ideals of democracy human rights and the state of law, should first respect the sovereignty of Turkish Republic, which is under the protection of international law," Cirit said.
Cirit also talked about the importance of raising qualified legal officials and jurists since they are the most important guarantors of the legal system and democracy. He further added that the recent FETÖ incident proved how important it was for the judiciary to be clear, transparent and open to the public.Judiciary rebuilt its strength,
prestige by eliminating FETÖThe Turkish judiciary rebuilt its strength and prestige by breaking the siege of the FETÖ, who regarded the judicial system as one of the most important tools to confiscate state power, said Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül yesterday. Releasing a statement for the opening of the new court year, Gül emphasized that the effects of FETÖ on the judiciary and justice system are being eradicated.
"The members of the judiciary will continue to stand still against any difficulties, without minding any voices other than law and conscience in this period as well by keeping its independence and objectivity," Gül said in his statement. Gül further expressed that the work of all the members of the judiciary is very valuable. "While they are working unselfishly within the boundaries of law and justice, we will try to work on the reform policies that will enable our people to benefit from the services of the judiciary and justice system at a higher quality and standard.
Apart from the short-term targets that were determined in the 100 Day Action Plan that was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gül said that they will put in place a new Strategic Plan and Judicial Reform Strategy documents in action by the end of the year.
On Sunday, Erdoğan said that Turkey is committed to strengthening the functioning of an independent and impartial judiciary.