Several release decisions have not been enforced in Turkey in recent years. Here are just four important ones:
1- 70 police officers investigating 17/25 December 2013 corruption scandal (Zarrab case) of ministers and Erdogan’s son were not released although court issued their releases. Judges Mustafa Başer and Metin Özçelik who decided to release them were dismissed/jailed on 1 May 2015. These two judges were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 24 Apr 2017. After July 15 controlled coup attempt, wife of Mustafa Başer, judge Rabia Başer was also arrested over the pretext of being member of armed terrorist organisation.
2- 22 journalists were rearrested after their releases over the pretex of new coup investigation. Judges of the trials were removed their posts on 15 Apr 2017.
3- Journalists Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay were not released although Top Court (Constitutional Court) ruled that arrests of them violated their fundamental rights on 12 Jan 2018.
Prof. Yaman Akdeniz critisized last constitutional crisis as follows:
“The Turkish Constitutional Court’s decisions on journalists Şahin Alpay & Mehmet Altan are binding on lower courts. The trial courts do NOT have the authority to consider, dismiss or reject the Constitutional Court’s decisions. They can only decide for their “immediate release”.
It is clear from the Turkish Constitutional Court’s decisions on journalists Şahin Alpay & Mehmet Altan that there is no strong or compelling evidence to detain them and their writings constitute journalistic activity within the limits of freedom of expression.
As predicted the journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan were NOT released today despite the ruling of the Constitutional Court. Did the Court go beyond the limits set by the constitution and the laws as suggested by the Deputy Prime Minister? Absolutely not in my view.
The Istanbul 13th Criminal Assize Court rejected for the 2nd time Şahin Alpay’s release last night. It looks like the Constitutional Court’s decisions will be ignored by the trial courts. All we needed was a Constitutional crisis and we now have it.”
4- Hours after one court ordered the release of amnesty’s Turkey chair lawyer Taner Kilic after 8 months in jail, another court has decided to keep him in prison over the appeal of the prosecutor on 31 Jan 2018.
Article 93 of the Emergency Decree Law 696 gives to the prosecutor the authority to appeal against the decisions to release of the arrestee. Prior the decree, the decisions to release given by the court was final.