General Staff under fire for interfering in ongoing case with statement on coup

Turkey’s jurists and intellectuals have slammed an April 5 online statement by the General Staff which harshly criticizes an earlier court decision to reject appeals for the release of suspects in the Sledgehammer coup case, saying the military has attempted to interfere in the independence of the judiciary with this statement. “The General Staff has no right to make such a statement; judicial bodies should do what is required of them,” said Professor Mehmet Altan, a columnist on April 5.

According to the General Staff statement, the appeals of 163 military staff for release from prison were rejected by the court for the second time on April 5. “Avoiding any act or attitude that may come as interference in an ongoing judicial process, the Turkish Armed Forces has provided related bodies with detailed information about the seminar as to how it was held and who attended it by making various explanations.” Rarely in the past two years has the General Staff posted statements which inject the military into issues that are the responsibility of independent branches of the Turkish Government.

Source: Today’s Zaman

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