World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's highest administrative court, the Council of State has issued a statement denouncing remarks by the head of Union of Turkish Bar Associations, Metin Feyzioglu, on the court's 146th founding anniversary on Saturday.
Feyzioglu's lengthy speech drew the ire of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called it ‘politically charged’ and ‘misleading.’
The court criticized the speech for being 'unrelated to justice matters' and 'hurtful.'
"The speech included topics that were not related to administrative justice and lawyers, and it disturbed our guests who did not have the right of reply while also hurting the members of the host institution," the statement said.
"(The speech) was unexpected, against the practices, and clashing with the significance of the day," it added.
Feyzioglu's speech contained references to political issues, including recent wiretapping scandals, corruption allegations against the government, the March 30 local polls and the upcoming presidential election on August 10.
He also cited in his remarks the 44 families who are still living in a container city built in the eastern city of Van following a devastating earthquake there in 2011.
Feyzioglu said he had a "duty to convey the greetings of the tenants living in the container city in Van."
"Turkey is a social state. A social state is obliged to meet its citizens' housing needs," he said.
Erdogan, who attended the ceremony to mark the court's founding with President Abdullah Gul and Chief of Staff Necdet Ozel, rose to his feet at the end of Feyzioglu's speech, accusing him of "lack of decorum" and "lies."
“The Head of the Court spoke for 25 minutes, you have been speaking for more than an hour,’’ Erdogan said. ‘’You are misbehaving, and your statements are false,” he said.
‘’You're making a political speech, everything you said about Van is a lie," he added.
Governor of Van, Aydin Nezih Dogan said Saturday Feyzioglu’s statement was “not based on facts.”
He said the government undertook several projects that met the housing demands of nearly 20,000 people whose houses were uninhabitable after the earthquake, effectively emptying the makeshift city of 30,000 containers.
Dogan added the Governor’s Office also provided assistance to those who stayed in the container city by offering to pay for their rent if they chose to move out, helping nearly 100 families find housing.
“The rights claims by the remaining 44 families living in the container city have no basis according to our laws or universal laws,” Dogan said.
Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag also reacted to the speech, saying it was politically motivated.
"It is clear that (Feyzioglu) has some political goals. He may have regarded the anniversary as an opportunity to achieve those goals," Bozdag said.
Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek have also criticized Feyzioglu’s speech, which follows remarks by Hasim Kilic, head of the Constitutional Court, on the court’s founding anniversary on April 25. Kilic had similarly received criticism from Prime Minister Erdogan and cabinet members, who accused Kilic of meddling in politics.Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2014, 09:17