TusKON backs judge’s emphasis on rule of law

The Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TusKON) voiced its support for Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic’s pointedly critical speech in a written press release on sunday.

“For this country to gain the respect of the global community and for national prosperity to increase, it is mandatory that all of Turkey’s institutions function democratically under the rule of law,” said the statement. Critics of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoGan argue that he has attempted to control the judiciary via reassignments of judges and through legislation, such as a February law that restructured the supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HsYK), granting the executive branch extensive power over the courts.

After the Constitutional Court reversed ErdoGan’s Twitter ban, the prime minister publicly blasted the move, saying that he did not respect the court’s ruling. Kilic criticized ErdoGan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in a speech on Friday in Ankara during an event commemorating the 52nd anniversary of the establishment of the court, an event attended by ErdoGan.

During the speech, Kilic addressed and refuted ErdoGan’s claims that the Constitutional Court had a political agenda, saying that such claims amounted to “shallow criticism.” He stated, “It is impossible for the judiciary to remain on its feet while tarnished with this allegation,” criticizing ErdoGan’s claims that the judiciary constituted a “parallel state” determined on unseating the government. ErdoGan walked out of the ceremony following Kilic’s speech.

“since damage to the rule of law has created serious anxiety in the business world, we would like to express our appreciation for the esteemed Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic’s speech, where he emphasized the necessity of equality under the law, the principle of the separation of powers in democratic systems, the role of the courts in the balance of powers and the guarantee of universal rights and freedoms,” said the TusKON statement.