Turkey: Court of Appeals refuses to comply with Constitutional Court's decision
The 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation in Turkey has filed a criminal complaint against the members of the Constitutional Court for their violation decision in favor of Can Atalay, a detainee in the Gezi Park case who was elected as a TIP (Worker's Party of Turkey) Hatay MP. This move comes after the Chamber upheld Atalay's conviction and refused to comply with the Constitutional Court's decision, arguing that its prior ruling was correct. The Court of Cassation also requested the Turkish Grand National Assembly to revoke Atalay's parliamentary seat.
The Court of Cassation did not recognize the decision of the Constitutional Court to release Can Atalay. The 3rd Criminal Chamber argued that the Constitutional Court had overstepped its authority and violated the Constitution. According to the Chamber, the Constitutional Court had examined the violation decision issued against Can Atalay without considering the finalized and executable decision of the Chamber.
The Court of Cassation accused the Constitutional Court of acting like a guardianship authority, stating that it had no constitutional or legal authority to examine Atalay's case. They also pointed out that the Constitutional Court threatened the members of the 3rd Criminal Chamber with the 'objective function of the Constitutional Court's decisions', a move that holds no legal basis and is even controversial within the doctrine.
Emphasizing the judiciary's role in making decisions per the law and the Constitution, the Court of Cassation criticized the Constitutional Court for its judicial activism. The Court of Cassation believes that the Constitutional Court has overstepped its authority and rendered the Constitution inapplicable, leading to questions about its legitimacy.
In its final decision, the 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation ruled that the Constitutional Court's violation decision on Can Atalay's application had no legal value or validity. It decided not to comply with the decision and upheld Atalay's conviction. A copy of the decision was sent to the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to initiate procedures for withdrawing Atalay's parliamentary seat.
The Court of Cassation has filed a criminal complaint with the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against the members of the Constitutional Court who voted for the acceptance of the violation of rights. The complaint alleges that these members have illegally exceeded their given authority and violated the provisions of the Constitution.