03 September 2019 12:24

Erdoğan gives signals of interference in bar association elections!

Speaking at the Judicial Year Opening Ceremony held at the Palace, President Erdoğan criticized the bar associations which boycotted the ceremony and gave signals of interference in bar association management.

Photograph: Mehmet Ali Özcan/AA

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In criticizing the bar associations that boycotted the Judicial Year Opening Ceremony because it was held at Beştepe, President Tayyip Erdoğan signalled there would be interference in bar association management.

Erdoğan said, “Certain bar associations are provoking the opening of the judicial year simply due to the venue. The heroic venue is home to all institutions. The electoral system of institutions, not least bar associations, must be reorganized in the upcoming period.” With these words, Erdoğan singled out the bar associations that did not go to the Palace. It is alleged that Union of Turkish Bar Associations Chair Metin Feyzioğlu also supports change to bar association elections. Speaking to our newspaper, Izmir Bar Association Chair Özkan Yücel noted that with these words Erdoğan was making veiled threats to enable him to subdue the opposition in bar associations. Yücel stated that the ruling party resorted to such methods whenever it encountered opposition.

Speaking at the Judicial Year Opening Ceremony held at the Presidential Congress and Culture Centre, President Tayyip Erdoğan claimed to have always remained bound by the notion of the separation of powers. Criticizing the 52 bar associations that boycotted the ceremony, Erdoğan said, “Certain bar associations are provoking the opening of the judicial year simply due to the venue. The heroic venue is home to all institutions. The electoral system of institutions, not least bar associations, must be reorganized in the upcoming period.”

Saying, “I congratulate our Court of Cassation and Union of Turkish Bar Associations presidents for the adept and democratic stance they have displayed in the face of these bigoted and provocative impositions, Erdoğan noted in reply to criticism of the presidential system of government, “Most of the aspersions concerning the separation of powers cast against the president as the representative of the executive in our new system of government are unfounded. The area opened up to the president in the democratic system in our country is not rooted in supremacy but is a point for observing the harmonious interworking of all institutions. Attacking through the judiciary the executive power which performs its task with the authority it derives from the nation and the law and its representative the president is essentially a direct targeting of the political arena.” Stating that interpreting the principle of the separation of powers from a mindset of conflict in place of balance will bring harm not benefit to the country and nation, Erdoğan said, “If supremacy is absolutely to be sought in the state system, this can only be the supremacy of the Constitution and the national sovereignty that manifests itself there.”

“VEILED THREAT IS BEING MADE”

Izmir Bar Association Chair Özkan Yücel said Union of Turkish Bar Associations Chair Metin Feyzioğlu gave evasive answers in these matters. Noting that with these words President Erdoğan was making veiled threats to enable him to subdue the opposition in bar associations, Yücel stated that the ruling party resorted to such methods whenever it encountered opposition. Recounting that similar proposals had previously been mooted and bar associations had come out in opposition, Yücel recalled that the ruling party took a step back following the reaction that emerged when the draft attorneyship law was tabled.

Indicating that, when the said draft was prepared, people the ruling party today called FETO had important places in the judiciary, Yücel said, “It is incomprehensible for the same thing to be mooted today. We do not yet know what they mean by speaking of representative democracy. However, what is apparent is that an agreement has been reached between the ruling party and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations over this point in the judicial package.” (Ankara/EVRENSEL)