World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned US Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone to demand an explanation for his recent critical remarks on Turkish judiciary, reports say.
Ricciardone recently expressed his doubt over the ongoing Ergenekon case, in which military officials along with some businessmen and academics are being tried over charges of attempting to topple the democratically elected government, as he questioned the way the Turkish legal system works.
He also did not refrain from presenting his backing for generals jailed pending trial as part of a probe into Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network.
In a recent conversation with Turkish journalist, Ricciardone said there is some problems in Turkey’s anti-terrorism law and that it is not in line with international standards.
Ricciardone also criticized the way suspects who stand trial as part of coup investigations or facing other charges are treated. He said there are jailed deputies for a long time and that charges they face are not even known.
He said there are many military leaders in Turkey, who were previously given a duty to defend the country, are jailed. He added that former head of Higher Education Board (YÖK) and professors are behind bars for unknown reasons. “As a matter of fact, it is difficult for American and European courts to make sense of this,” Ricciardone added.
He said some of the charges they face are related to their shady activities 16 years ago and criticized authorities for jailing students for participating in peaceful protests.
Saying that he does not want to interfere with the job of judges, Ricciardone criticized the lack of transparency in cases and lengthy trials.
On Wednesday, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesman Hüseyin Çelik lashed out at Ricciardone regarding his remarks over Turkish judicial system, deeming the US envoy’s comments as meddling in Turkey’s domestic affairs.
Çelik vehemently criticized the envoy for his sharp criticism of the Turkish judiciary and urged him not to cross the boundaries of his position in Turkey.
Çelik said Ricciardone should know where he must stop before interfering in Turkey’s domestic affairs.
“As soon as he arrived in Turkey, he began to deliver judgments over domestic affairs and the legal system. You are a diplomat, how can you make a judgment over those issues when you don’t even know the whole nature of the events and how the system works? Who gives you the right to question [the political and legal system]?” Çelik said.
Ricciardone drew ire when he criticized the detention of journalists after a police crackdown on a news website during the first days of his service in Ankara in early 2011.
Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2013, 12:52