CHP files complaint on ‘biased’ Council of State head

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has filed a complaint on Council of State head Zerrin Güngör to the council’s board of directors, saying her remarks that criticized CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu “implicate the Council of State.”

“It is clear that the head of the Council of State is acting politically, is not free from the influence of the [government’s] executive branch with her hostile attitude toward the CHP, and is not capable of being so in the future. It is beyond doubt she cannot act in accordance with the dignity of judicature, and cannot practice as a judge in accordance with the constitutional rule of impartiality and independence,” the complaint petition issued by CHP Group Deputy Chair Levent Gök read on Sept. 12.

The complaint came after Güngör criticized the main opposition party of being influential over the judiciary in the past, arguing that “the judiciary is now free from influence.”

“The CHP is uncomfortable because the old judicial order has changed. The judiciary has never been that impartial and independent,” Güngör told daily Habertürk writer Nagehan Alçı who reported on Aug. 30.

Güngör had also criticized Kılıçdaroğlu’s “justice march” from Ankara to Istanbul, calling it a “so-called ‘justice march.’”

“Justice for whom? Whose justice are you looking for? You are blaming the judiciary. We delicately care for the balance of justice,” she had said.

“It is obvious that Zerrin Güngör’s accusations and actions have become unacceptable, impaired judicial independence and impartiality and constituted a crime of discipline,” the letter of complaint read.

Gök said Güngör’s criticisms violated Article 67 of the Council of State law and constituted a disciplinary crime.

“The Council of State’s board of directors has the authority to appeal to the high disciplinary board about members who engage in acts that would damage judicature and not comply with the dignity of the profession. We are appealing to this authority [of the board],” Gök said.

The petition will be issued by the board of directors and if the board recognizes the complaints, then it will convey it to the high disciplinary board. The final decision will be made by the high board.

The CHP does not trust Güngör

Accusing Güngör of being politically biased, Gök urged the top judge to “resign and go into politics as a party member.”

“Zerring Güngör should not argue against our party with the power she has received from the ruling party. If you have the courage, take off your judge’s robe, become a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] and go into politics,” Gök told reporters at the Council of State Building after issuing the letter.

He said that as long as Güngör heads the Council, all the cases related to the CHP “cannot proceed healthily.”

We do not trust the Council of State head Zerrin Güngör,” Gök said.

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