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Briefing on Turkey’s constitutional crisis

Briefing on Turkey’s constitutional crisis


18 January 2018

Turkey is facing a constitutional crisis after several judges refused to comply with a ruling to release two journalists accused of supporting last year’s failed coup

  • Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay remain in state detention despite the constitutional court ruling for their immediate release on January 11
  • The prominent liberal commentators are accused of working on behalf of the Gulen Movement, the religious organisation widely believed to have led the failed military takeover in July 2016   
  • The case looks set to define the role of the judiciary in Turkey for the foreseeable future

On January 11, Turkey’s constitutional court ruled that journalists Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay should be immediately released from state custody. This was rejected by the lower courts handling the cases, which accused the constitutional court of overstepping its jurisdiction. Turkey is now facing a crisis of legal authority.

Altan and Alpay are prominent liberal political commentators who supported the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)…

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