Erdogan: Court of Cassation outweighs Constitutional Court
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said that "the Constitutional Court should get prepared for individual applications," suggesting that the top court is still not duly prepared 12 years after it first began to accept individual applications in cases involving alleged violations of human rights.
Replying to the questions of pro-government media representatives on his way back from the Islamic Cooperation Organization summit in Saudi Arabia, Erdogan commented on the recent conflict between the Constitutional Court and the Court of Cassation.
The direct conflict emerged as a result of the non-compliance of the Court of Cassation with a binding decision of the Constitutional Court who recently ruled that an imprisoned deputy's right to parliamentary immunity was violated by his continued detention and that the deputy should immediately be released.
"Legislation turned inside out by the Constitutional Court"
Asked if he thought an amendment to the legislation concerning individual applications to the Constitutional Court was required, Erdogan said:
"There is no difficulty in amending the legislation on individual applications. It depends only on the steps to be taken by the People's Alliance, but that won't be enough. With which authority will the individuals applications be filed? It will be the Constitutional Court once again. So we first have to have the Constitutional Court prepared for this, because many legislation are brought before the Constitutional Court only to be turned inside out there. If the same thing happens after the legislation has been amended by the parliament, this will only be a waste of time."
Erdogan: The Court of Cassation "weighs" over the Constitutional Court
Erdogan also said that unlike the Court of Cassation that consisted only of judges, the Constitutional Court had a mixed composition, and accordingly it was the former that actually "had weight."
"I had earlier made a remark, I'd said that the members of the Court of Cassation are judges. The Constitutional Court, on the other hand, consists of judges, governors, economists, sociologists, etc. This is how it is supposed to be, but which one has weight in terms of its mission? The Court of Cassation does."
"I will not take a side in this conflict, but when it comes to serving as a referee, and it may come to that since this is also a function invested to us, as the President, by the Constitution. We wish this kind of conflict never emerged in the first place. I will nevertheless meet with the presidents of both courts if necessary. I already had a meeting with the President of the Court of Cassation, and I will have one with the President of the Constitutional Court if required."
The Turkish Constitution states that the Constitutional Court is authorized to issue decisions in individual applications concerning allegations of rights violations and that the Constitutional Court's decisions are final and binding for the entire judiciary. A change in the Constitutional Court's authority requires a constitutional amendment.