Erdogan: Constitutional court makes mistake after mistake

Erdogan: Constitutional court makes mistake after mistake
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President Erdogan intervened in the escalating crisis between Turkey’s top courts, supporting Court of Cassation and admonishing AKP members for their critical stance

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan took the side of the Court of Cassation (Yargitay) in an ongoing dispute with the Constitutional Court (AYM), and said his ruling AK Party colleagues should also join him, Turkish media said.

"Unfortunately, the Constitutional Court has made many mistakes in a row at this point, which seriously saddens us," Erdogan told reporters on his flight back from Uzbekistan.

Speaking for the first time on the matter, Erdogan underscored the gravity of the situation, cautioning against underestimating the steps taken by the Yargıtay.

The Constitutional Court had ruled that the "right to stand for election" and the "personal freedom and security" rights of Can Atalay, a member of the Turkey Workers' Party (TİP) and Hatay Deputy, were violated during his imprisonment. In response to this decision, the Yargıtay filed a criminal complaint against the members of the Constitutional Court, leading President Erdogan to weigh in on the controversy.

Erdogan criticized the AYM, expressing concern over the institution's series of perceived missteps. Emphasizing the high standing of the Yargıtay, he said: "The decision made by the Court of Cassation cannot be pushed aside. In response to the Constitutional Court's decision, the Yargıtay has rightly stated, 'If you are a supreme court, so am I, and as a supreme court, I am demanding sanctions against you.'"

The President also addressed criticism within the AKP regarding the Yargıtay's decision. Rebuking party members who praised the Constitutional Court while denigrating the Yargıtay, Erdogan urged unity within the party, stating, "There is no meaning in trying to please someone by speaking ill of others. We should operate with the understanding that 'one for all, all for one.'"

Erdogan concluded his remarks by accusing the AYM of encroaching on the authority of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), emphasizing that the power to make constitutional amendments lies solely with the parliament, and no one has the right to infringe upon this fundamental authority.