YARSAV (Union of Judges and Prosecutors) has been closed down following the coup attempt of July 15th. Talking to BirGün about it, YARSAV President Murat Arslan reacted to the situation by saying, “As it is seen, this operation is turning into a witch-hunt!”
YARSAV has been shut down with a decree approved under OHAL (state of emergency) in the aftermath of the coup attempt of certain faction within the Turkish Armed Forces. President of YARSAV, Murat Arslan, has also been suspended from his position at Sayıştay (Turkish Supreme Court of Accounts). Arslan has talked to BirGün about the situation, stating that ‘it has turned into a witch-hunt’.
Arslan has been suspended
YARSAV is among the organizations that have been shut down with the ruling of recently approved decrees under OHAL. The President of YARSAV Mehmet Arslan, who has also been suspended from his position from Sayıştay, said: “We have always pointed out to the same problem; we have always said that unless the operations in the aftermath of the coup attempt do not solely involve the ‘attempters’, it would lead to a severe judicial crackdown. We have always emphasized that the current processes should not be turned into a witch-hunt. But as it is seen now, it is indeed turning into a witch-hunt and both the innocent and the guilty are piled up at the same bag. Despite all this, we are going to continue our struggle ‘till the end. Until now, we have always defended rule of law and democracy; and, from this point on, too, we are going to keep our struggle even though we are shut down or suspended. We are not going to take a step back.”
The spirit of YARSAV cannot be shut down
After being shutdown officially with the ruling a decree on July 23rd, YARSAV members convened and released a statement. Part of the statement is: “YARSAV has always overtly reacted, for all to see, against the ‘parallel structure’ which was signaling that the Organization had invaded the judiciary. And, it has always taken side, without any fear, with those who have been subjected to the structure’s actions. It has very clearly expressed its opposition to the joint acts of the Organization and the current administration, as well as, the September 2010 Constitutional Referendum, which was actually the proof of the fact that the judiciary was invaded by the Gülenist community. YARSAV had drawn attention to this unlawful structure even during the times when the structure was active in HSYK (Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors) and public offices. And this opposition of YARSAV had actually caused its members and executives, who believe in rule of law and the values of the Republic, to become targets and subjects of mistreatments. This act of shutting down, which is carried out based allegations of YARSAV having connection with FETÖ, can not be accepted because YARSAV has been an institution running all of its activities transparently. If all the institutions that have members with connection to FETÖ are to be closed down, then, probably, there will not be any organization left. We would like to remind those who are blaming us with ‘having FETÖ members in our institution’ that their own closest co-workers turned out to be the coup attempters...Shutting down YARSAV will not mean its spirit will die out.”
What is YARSAV?
Established in 2006, YARSAV stood as the first civil organization formed by members of judiciary, who previously did not have the legal status to take part in organizational activities related to their profession. Throughout its active years, it had emphasized the importance of 'judicial independence' and carried out activities with the purpose of addressing the points within the branch that needed strengthening or adjusting.
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