ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday sharply criticised Turkish lawyers who boycotted a judicial ceremony on the grounds of his presidential palace, saying their method of electing bar association members should be changed.
Last month, at least 19 bar associations representing a vast majority of lawyers across Turkey, including in the three largest cities, said they would boycott the annual opening ceremony of the judicial year because it would be held on the premises of the presidential palace.
Bar - Associations - Ceremony - Location - Presidency
Many of the bar associations said holding the ceremony in a location linked to the presidency signals a lack of separation of powers and the erosion of judicial independence in Turkey.
Speaking at the ceremony on Monday, Erdogan said Turkey’s new all-powerful executive presidential system, approved in a referendum last year, did not affect the separation of powers and added that the presidential palace was the people’s home.
Accusations - President - Head - Executive - Branch
“Many of the accusations directed at the president, who is also the head of the executive branch, about the separation of powers under the new system are baseless,” Erdogan said.
“This venue does not belong to me. As I have always said, this venue is the home of the people and all state institutions have the right to easily use it.”
Erdogan - Chairmen - Court - Cassation - Turkish
Erdogan added, “I congratulate the chairmen of our Court of Cassation and Turkish Bar’s Association (TBB) on behalf of my people for the strong and democratic stance they showed against this bigoted...
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