Dismissal of 2,745 judges in Turkey

Who we wrote to

The president of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

What’s the issue

On 16 July 2016, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HCJP) announced the dismissal of 2,745 judges.

We understand that the mass dismissal took place because of an alleged involvement of the judges in the coup attempt in Turkey.

We believe that no dismissal should be effective until an independent investigation has been carried out to verify such involvement.

Whilst suspension might ultimately be appropriate, we’re concerned that the proper administration of justice will become more difficult after the dismissal of so many judicial officers.

These developments represent a worrying erosion of the principle of the separation of powers.

We’re greatly concerned about the negative effects this has on the independence of the judiciary and other members of the legal profession, as well as the right to a fair trial of all Turkish citizens.

We believe that members of the legal profession can only carry out their work in a democracy that’s based on the rule of law.

What we asked for

We urged the Turkish authorities to:

  • reinstate the judges who were dismissed, pending investigations into their alleged involvement in the coup attempt
  • follow international standards regarding the suspension, re-assignment and removal of judges in any disciplinary or other proceedings brought
  • respect the independence of the judiciary and make sure that other members of the legal profession can carry out their professional duties without hindrance and improper interference
  • adopt the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Venice Commission and the European Commission on the rule of law and judicial independence in Turkey

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