The Turkish Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) is preparing for a second surge of dismissals, including 1,500 judges and prosecutors, due to links with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). The Turkish daily Habertürk reported that works are ongoing, with thousands of judiciary employees under extensive investigation, out of concern that FETÖ members are concealing their links with the terrorist cult.
Since the attempted coup on July 15, the government has exerted great efforts to remove FETÖ members from the judiciary. In an extraordinary meeting held in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt, the Executive Board of the HSYK ordered the detention of 2,745 judges, hours after removing them from their posts. Those detained included 11 prosecutors and 10 Court of Appeals members, while arrest warrants were issued for 140 others. Five members of the Constitutional Court were removed from their posts while two of those were detained for suspected involvement in the coup attempt.
FETÖ, led by U.S.-based fugitive and retired imam Fethullah Gülen, has been accused of infiltrating the law enforcement as well as the judiciary. Gülenist prosecutors assigned to multiple cases were subjected to a nationwide purge following two previous coup attempts disguised as an anti-graft probe. Judges and prosecutors who were involved in probes and sham trials intended to imprison those who criticized FETÖ have either been removed from duty or reassigned to lower positions, while some face prison terms in ongoing trials.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a live broadcast on July 24 that FETÖ members dismissed from public institutions will no longer be able to work in their previous places of employment, and that the government is determined to take strict measures to prevent any future attempts at infiltration in the public sector.
"Those who were dismissed from public institutions for links with this terror cult [FETÖ] will never be officers again. No motions for stay of execution will be granted. We are continuing to take gradual and necessary steps in order to eradicate FETÖ from all of our country's institutions."