Turkish judges act like trying to please “führer”, opposition leader says

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition criticised a local court’s refusal to implement a top court’s order to release two jailed journalists, saying judges had acted like the Nazi judiciary.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered the release of journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan on the grounds that their long pre-trial detention violated their rights. But a lower court in Istanbul the next day challenged the order, saying Turkey’s top court had “exceeded its authority.” The pair are still in jail.

“Today, the conditions in Turkey are the same in the Germany of the 1940s. Hitler had a jurist who said to judges, ‘Ask yourselves before each case: How would the führer decide if he was in my place?’,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told party members on Saturday.

“Today, those judges who do not recognise the Constitutional Court’s decision behave in a similar way as the führer’s judiciary,” Turkish news channel NTV quoted Kılıçdaroğlu as saying.