Lawyer Sabri Erdoğan, a member of the Kayseri Bar Association, filed an official complaint on Tuesday against Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya, accusing him of having prepared a wrongful indictment for the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Erdoğan submitted his petition to the Develi Prosecutor's Office, saying that he did it as an ordinary citizen's duty. "Yalçınkaya prepared a wrongful indictment. Legal experts cannot and should not accept that indictment, which has caused disappointment in the nation," he said.
Yalçınkaya applied to the Constitutional Court last Friday, demanding that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling AK Party be shut down on the grounds that it had become the focal point of anti-secular activities. He also demanded that 71 party members, including Prime Minister Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, be banned from political life for five years. Gül as president had to quit party membership, but he was one of the founding members of the AK Party.
"Yalçınkaya has committed an offense according to the Turkish Penal Code [TCK]. He stressed in his indictment that in Turkey secularism is different than that of the West because of differences between Islam and Christianity. In other words, he confessed that there is a double standard in secularism in terms of religion and culture. He said the principle of secularism signifies different things in Christianity and Islam. He noted that secularism is guaranteed by the law in Turkey, emphasizing that there is no similarity between political parties in Turkey that are rooted in Islam and the Christian Democrat parties in Europe. All these things prove that Yalçınkaya discriminates between religions, an offense under the TCK," said Erdoğan.
Erdoğan, stating that Yalçınkaya's indictment cites a number of false news reports that have already been refuted, noted that the prosecutor even accused Prime Minister Erdoğan of saying that Turkey has a headscarf problem. "Yalçınkaya considers statements on Turkey's deep-rooted headscarf problem an offense. Yes, there is a headscarf problem in Turkey. If people in this country are not allowed to wear a headscarf in accordance with their religious views, then there is a headscarf problem," he said.
He also recalled that the indictment references a story first aired on private Show TV and also covered by some Turkish newspapers regarding a headscarf-wearing woman reportedly working at a high school in İstanbul as the headmaster's secretary. "However, an investigation had revealed that the woman was a janitor, not a secretary. It is against the law to include refuted news reports in an indictment," noted Erdoğan.
Erdoğan said legislators have difficulty in explaining the context of the indictment to people who don't have satisfactory knowledge of the law. "Even legislators have difficulty in accepting such an indictment. Many prominent legislators both from Turkey and from other countries do not accept it," he said.
He also noted that the closure case against the AK Party created an atmosphere of panic and chaos in the country and caused Turkey's stocks to plunge. "Yalçınkaya's move dealt a serious blow to our country's developing economy," he added.
Another complaint against the prosecutor came from the civil society organization Young Civilians. The group also filed on Tuesday charges against the prosecutor on "abusing his position" as the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals. The group filed the charges with the presidency of the Supreme Court of Appeals, accusing Yalçınkaya in their petition of including evidence established on forced interpretations of statements and facts.
Meanwhile, several professors agreed that Yalçınkaya should be tried for overstepping the boundaries of the law in his indictment, pointing out that the prosecutor has actually committed a number of violations of the law, including demanding a political ban for Gül, who by law can only be tried for treason; adding to his indictment charges against individuals who had been acquitted in previous court cases over the same charges; including in the document the words of a suspect in the murder of a senior judge in a 2006 attack as evidence of the AK Party's alleged attempts to Islamize Turkey; and referring to laws passed in Parliament as elements of a crime.
Gazi University Professor Hasan Tunç explained that the references in the indictment made to the words of Alparslan Arslan, a suspect in the 2006 attack on the Council of State, constitute a crime. "It is illegal to make a reference to this man's words, as the Council of State case is still not closed. Including his words in the indictment goes against the principle of the presumption of innocence and, thus, is a violation of the law."
Levent Köker, another law professor from Gazi University, said indicting the president was an obvious legal error. "Under Turkish law, the president can only be prosecuted on charges of treason," he said. He noted, however, that the law was ambiguous on what exactly constitutes "treason," which makes it almost impossible to accuse anyone of it. "This sort of thing has happened only during military coup administrations," he added.
Constitutional court to decide in five months
The Constitutional Court will take at least five months to make a final ruling on the AK Party closure case, the chief judge of the court said on Tuesday.
Constitutional Court Chief Justice Haşim Kılıç told the Sabah daily that the court would decide whether to take up the case within a week. "I think it will take five to six months before a ruling can be issued on the AK Party closure case."
Meanwhile, a civilian initiative on Monday launched a Web site titled "Shut me down as well!" Curently, 27,000 people have signed a petition put up on the site that reads: "To whom it may concern: I believe that my shutting down, in my opinion, will be a most beneficial deed for my country, state and the rest of humanity. Please, shut me down as well." The Web site can be viewed at http://benidekapatin.com. The domain name also translates as "shut me down as well."
Last Mod: 19 Mart 2008, 16:09