Top court president responds to violent Ergenekon trial protests

The protests prevented a panel of judges from hearing the case.

Top court president responds to violent Ergenekon trial protests

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Constitutional Court president said individuals may show “democratic reaction or support” for ongoing court cases but affiliation with a political party should not mean challenging or threatening courts and judges.

“Democratic reactions coming from some individuals against some criminal cases in which people with whom they share a common political view should be met with tolerance. But this does not mean that those individuals have the right to challenge or threaten a court or resort to violent means to protest the court,” Kilic said.

He was referring to violent protests that were sparked during an earlier hearing of the trial against the alleged Ergenekon terrorist organization in early April. The protests were led by several deputies of the CHP and members of the ultranationalist Workers' Party (İP) and demonstrators staged violent protests inside and outside the courthouse where the hearing was held.

The protests prevented a panel of judges from hearing the case. A number of CHP deputies are currently being investigated for their roles in the protests.

In addition, Kilic spoke about the ongoing settlement process, as the talks between state authorities and the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are referred to, and said peace can be ensured through “bridges to be built between hearts” rather than “written documents.”

In a bid to resolve the country's decades-old Kurdish problem, at the end of last year the AK Party government launched negotiations with PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is incarcerated on Imrali Island in the Sea of Marmara.

In past months, Ocalan, who, despite his 14 years in prison, still wields enormous clout over PKK members as well as millions of nationalist Kurds in Turkey, called on the PKK to lay down their arms and leave Turkey.

Kilic also said people mostly complain about the lack of a fair trial in the country in their applications to the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which suggests that radical changes should be made to do away with structural problems in the judiciary.

Last Mod: 26 Nisan 2013, 09:50
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