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Justice minister: Coup plotters are mocking the judges of the court

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Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ commented Friday on the testimony of officers standing trial for a failed coup attempt on July 15, saying they were mocking the judges of the court.
“They deny, refute, as if mocking the Turkish nation and the judges of the court,” said Bozdağ at a meeting in Ankara.

“They are such betrayers, such vile, characterless and unprincipled people, that they do not even accept that the coup failed.”

Underlining that the government has dismissed all judges and prosecutors allegedly linked to the faith-based Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the coup attempt on July 15, Bozdağ said: “The Turkish judiciary is independent and neutral.”

According to the t24 news website, the government has dismissed 4,238 of Turkey’s 14,661 judges and prosecutors since July 15.

In December, the European Networks of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) suspended the observer status of Turkey’s Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and excluded it from participation in ENCJ activities for the mass suspension and dismissal of judges and prosecutors and the failure to comply with the European Standards for Councils for the Judiciary.

“The HSYK does not currently comply with the ENCJ Statutes and is no longer an institution which is independent of the executive and legislature ensuring the final responsibility for the support of the judiciary in the independent delivery of justice,” said a statement issued following a vote in the ENJC General Assembly gathered in The Hague on Dec. 8 to discuss and decide on the position of the HSYK in the association.

Bozdağ’s statement came amid debates that the officers’ testimony in court contradicts statements made by the government on the coup attempt of July 15.

On Friday main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu asked his party to draft an alternate report investigating the failed coup since a report prepared by the government failed to shed light on the putsch.

On April 5 Kılıçdaroğlu said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım did not want the coup attempt to be investigated because they were concerned such a probe could extend to themselves.

“It was a coup attempt designed to fail,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

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