AKP’s opportunism is a major misfortune for Turkey. The MIT bill could have been enlarged to amend the Anti-Terror Law, Felony Court Procedures Law and finally the notorious Special Criminal Court Law to rein in a judiciary—largely appointed by AKP- running amok with human rights, civil liberties and freedom of expression in the country.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu expressed his views on Special Criminal Courts in an interview with private broadcaster NTV:
“Special Criminal Courts date back to the coup era. Courts established under the supervision of the military junta…. As Turkey retuned to civilian control, somehow the authorities could not let go of these courts. Hence, they were re-named “State Security Courts”. Then, as accession with EU began, to counter objections they were re-named a second time. The military judge on the bench was replaced with a civilian, and they were called “Special Criminal Courts”. They still get their powers and inspiration from the junta-drafted constitution. In a state where rule of law reigns supreme, there is no room for special courts using extralegal methods to try the defendants.
Special Criminal Courts are not expert courts, either. I mean they are not like family court or juvenile courts. These courts act as the sharp end of the political authority, to oppress the society, to intimate it by demonstrating the politicians’ power by employing special methods of trial against defendants. We strongly advocate the abolishment of these courts. There is not one example of Special Criminal Courts in EU. We emphasize that the judiciary is an integrated whole that treats all the defendants equally”.