Judges, prosecutors to get salary increase through gov’t decree


The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which has carried out a massive purge in the Turkish judiciary in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, is preparing to increase the monthly salaries of judges and prosecutors through a government decree, Turkish media reports said on Sunday.

A total of 16,000 judges and prosecutors will reportedly benefit from the pay rise. A first degree judge or prosecutor, who has served in the profession for at least 21 years, will receive a maximum pay rise of TL 2,700 and receive a monthly salary of TL 13,500, which is around 10 times higher than the minimum wage in Turkey.

Each member of the judiciary will benefit from the pay rise in accordance with the number of years they have spent in the profession.

The government plan to increase the monthly salaries of  judges and prosecutors has led to claims that the government is aiming to “bribe” the members of the judiciary so that they rule against Erdoğan opponents in trials they hear and that Erdoğan is strengthening his hand before a critical referendum in April when constitutional amendments seeking to introduce an executive presidency will be presented to a public vote.

Following the coup attempt on July 15, the AKP government has expelled thousands of judges and prosecutors over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

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    1.Afer the investigation launched on 17/25 December in 2013 into the ministers of the Erdoğan cabinet and his son concerning the corruption and bribery and also the MIT investigation (National Intelligence Agency) regarding the arm dispatch to the radical islamic groups such as ISIL, ELNUSRA etc., Erdoğan gave an order to the competent authorities in order to get rid of the independent judiciary .

    2. He strongly desired the canditates, he supported himself, be elected as members of the Supreme Board of the Judiciary (HCJP) in the HCJP elections, held in October 2014. In order to render this plan become a reality, a pro gov’t platform of judicial unity, YBP, whose name was changed as YBD after the election, was established.

    3. Then, YBP, which was financed completely by the government, gave a start to election preparations. Bekir Bozdağ, the minister of justice, promised that in the event of the candidates of YBP would be elected as members of HCJP, the monthly salaries of the judges and prosecutors would be increased and also the disciplinary acts of crime (punishments) would be forgiven. (the judge Halil Soğuksu, a member of YBP, caught in the act of crime of the narcotic courier three days ago, also had fell within the purview of this pardon!).

    4.The new HSYK, which is consisting of the candidates of YBP in majority and handed over the judicial power to the command of Erdoğan, was formed and in a few months, a promised pay increase was made. This pay increase was the first bribery of Erdoğan to the members of the judiciary to reshape his own judiciary!

    5.Then, the criminal judges of peace and exceptionally competent prosecutors appointed by new HCJP arrested the police officials, the judges and the prosecutors, conducting the above-mentioned corruption and bribery and also MIT investigations.

    6.Furthermore, these judges and prosecutors under the command of Erdoğan, arrested 41 thousand individuals, among whom are the deputies, journalists, academics, judges, prosecutors, police officials who are opposition to Erdoğan over the accusation of involving in the coup attempt or having a link to Gülen Movement or terrorist organization despite there were no specific facts and concrete evidences about them. 4000 of the whole judiciary were dismissed from the post of judge and 2500 of them were arrested.

    7. As of today, the indictments have been being prepared about the arrested oppositions and their trials have began in High Criminal Courts. The High Criminal Courts have a difficulty in finding absolute evidences and specific facts in case files, however, they fear of falling victim to Erdoğan’s wrath. Despite not being reported in the media under the control of Erdoğan, the courts have started to release the arrestees in the first hearing on the grounds of the absence of any evidence.

    8. Even they become a few, the releases both anger and make Erdoğan get anxious. The salary increase, which was of use in HCJP elections held in 2014, will be used for once again.

    9.Further, the constitutional amendment referandum is going to be held in April which grants vast authorities to Erdoğan. To guess that Erdoğan is rewarding the judges of High Election Board and also the other judges, who will be on duty in referandum, with salary increase so as to make them behave in favor of Erdoğan in examining the objections to the referandum results, is not difficult.

    10. Despite Turkey is on the edge of an economic crisis, Erdoğan uses the salary increase as a tool of bribery to the judges and the prosecutors in order to make them rule the decisions as Erdoğan wants in cases of oppositions and also in concluding the constitutional amendment referandum at desired course.

    11. In the near future, we will see how much this salary increase will make Erdoğan feel relieved notably as regards the case of oppositions and constitutional amendment referandum.