Reaction to junior member being endorsed by Erdogan for court's presidency

Reaction to junior member being endorsed by Erdogan for court's presidency
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Irfan Fidan was elected member of the Constitutional Court with only a few weeks experience, in contrast to 44 previous members in 58 years who had been elected with an average service term of nine years.

A junior member of Turkey's Constitutional Court is backed by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his move to run for the presidency of the court, and this has sparked reactions from several members of the court, Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish reported on Tuesday.

Irfan Fidan announced his intention to run in quite an unexpected move and mere days to the election, which will take place on 2 February, DW's Alican Uludag said.

Fidan was appointed a member of the Constitutional Court by President Erdogan on 21 January 2021, less than two months after he was elected a member of the Court of Cassation by the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors.

A distinguished professor of Constitutional Law, Kemal Gozler, had earlier stressed upon Fidan's appointment to the Constitutional Court that it was the first time in the court's history that a member who had yet served only for a few weeks received more votes than senior members and was elected to the Constitutional Court.

Gozler had noted that the average time of service for the 44 court members who had been elected to the Constitutional Court in the past 58 years is nine years.

The other two candidates for the Constitutional Court's presidency, Basri Bagci and Ridvan Gulec, withdrew after they were informed that Erdogan was endorsing Fidan, according to DW.

The new president of the court will be leading the lawsuit against the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), who has been accused by the prosecution of "providing space for the activities of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated a "terrorist group" by Ankara.

HDP faces a challenge of being banned before the elections in May.