Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on Thursday reinstated seven judges and prosecutors out of 4,156 who were dismissed following a coup attempt in 2016, bringing the total number of judges and prosecutors who were similarly reinstated to 95, Deutsche Welle’s Turkish Service (DW Türkçe) reported on Friday, citing anonymous sources in the judiciary.
Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces, were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws.
Some members of the Turkish judiciary had been arrested after the failed coup as part of a mass crackdown on the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames for the coup attempt. Gülen and the movement deny any involvement.
In 2019 İsmail Rüştü Cirit, the then-head of the Supreme of Court of Appeals, stated that 3,495 of the dismissed judges and prosecutors had been prosecuted over links to the Gülen movement. Of these, 1,344 were convicted, while 534 were acquitted.
However, no new official data has been shared so far on the names of those who were acquitted after 2019 or who received a decision of non-prosecution, DW Türkçe said.
Sources cited by DW Türkçe say that 95 judges and prosecutors were reinstated by the HSK after the Council of State decided to repeal the government decrees.
Judges and prosecutors who were reinstated as a result of the Council of State’s decision to annul the government measures will have their entire salaries returned with interest for the period of dismissal.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Sept. 6 ruled that the pretrial detention of 230 judges and prosecutors after the failed coup was unlawful, holding that Turkey pay 5,000 euros in non-pecuniary damages to every applicant.