Turkey faced with a constitutional crisis, says opposition deputy

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK), a body inside the Justice Ministry that decides on the appointment, removal and transfer of judges and prosecutors must hold judges accountable for failing to abide by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, opposition deputy Mustafa Yeneroğlu said on Wednesday.

The remarks of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) lawmaker pertain to a ruling by Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) that opposition deputy from the secularist centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP), Enis Berberoğlu's rights were violated and his parliamentary rights should be restored.

Berberoğlu was stripped of his parliamentary status in June, alongside two pro-Kurdish deputies, when a prison sentence against the journalist-turned-politician was finalised.

A local court on Tuesday said it does not recognise the AYM ruling, sparking a nation-wide debate over Turkey's rule of law and the validity of the constitution.

Yeneroğlu said the judges refusing to recognise the ruling of the AYM are committing a disciplinary action. "Turkey is currently going through a constitutional crisis" Yeneroğlu said, reminding that according to the current Turkish constitution, "the AYM's rulings are binding over legislative, executive and judicial bodies, as well as administrative organisations and individuals."

A Twitter post by AYM member Engin Yildirim on Tuesday, saying "the lights are on" in the AYM building caused a flurry of reactions from Turkish officials and organisations.

AYM

Yıldırım’s post came following the rejection of a local court objecting the AYM ruling on CHP deputy case.

Pro-Turkish government media figures and government officials have interpreted the post as a threat of a coup attempt.

Historically, the lights of the General Staff's headquarters' were seen as an indication of the Turkish military's displeasure over an issue.

Following intense backlash, Yıldırım first deleted his tweets before issuing an apology for using terms that could have been open to misinterpretations.