WITH AGENCY REPORT
A further 543 judges and prosecutors have been sacked in Turkey, bringing the number of dismissals since July 15 failed coup to at least 3, 288.
The new dismissals came yesterday as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrated the start of the new judicial year in Ankara where he told an audience that the purge would enhance the judiciary’s independence.
At least 35, 000 people have been detained for questioning since coup, over 3, 000 of them judges or prosecutors. Soldiers, police officers and journalists are also among those detained while tens of thousands more have been dismissed from their jobs. More than 270 people died in events surrounding the coup attempt.
Erdogan insisted that the new dismissals would not weaken the judiciary.
“On the contrary, it will seriously help to ensure substantial justice,” he said, adding, “The duty of our judges, prosecutors and solicitors is to work to dispense justice as perfectly as possible.”
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim met the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, in Ankara yesterday.
Relations between Turkey and the EU have soured over European criticism of Turkey’s perceived failings to protect human rights and democracy.
“We all know that there are some countries which make every kind of criticism on any small issue about democratic values,” Yildirim said.
“The same countries remain unable to defend democracy when they see an activity aimed directly at destroying democracy and, to say the least, they remain silent.
“They showed a pro-coup profile. That is regrettable. We never accept double standards in the protection of democratic values.”