Turkish Press Review
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Most Turkish dailies on Tuesday dedicated their front pages to the release of 18 detainees in the ‘Ergenekon’ case – an alleged coup attempt against the Turkish government. Papers reported on the detainees’ release because of time already served in jail, divisions in the judiciary after one court refused their appeal, and reaction to the releases. An initial appeal by the detainees had been refused by the ‘specially authorized’ 13th High Criminal Court which had jurisdiction over the case. Later, other courts dismissed this initial decision and ordered the release of the detainees based on the abolition by the government of such specially authorized courts.
Newspapers also reported on an abandoned football game between two arch-rivals in Turkish Super League – Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce – after hooligans in the stadium threw flares and other objects onto the pitch.
HABERTURK covered the releases of the Ergenekon detainees. The daily said that after recent reforms, which reduced the maximum pre-trial detention period to five years, releases would follow one after another. Some of those released on Monday were prominent figures in the ongoing case, such as well-known journalist Tuncay Ozkan, some former high-ranking military staff and a gang leader with alleged links to Turkey’s ‘deep state’.
STAR covered the developments under the headline "Parallel Revolt" – a reference to an alleged secret network within Turkey’s institutions, particularly the judiciary and police force, dubbed as "parallel state” by the government. Citing the prolonged trials and the indefinite decision periods, the daily said judicial members with alleged links to the group had paved the way for releases by stalling the judicial process, which took over six years.
MILLIYET ran the headline "Arm Wrestling in Judiciary," referring to divisions between Turkey’s criminal courts. One of the newly abolished specially authorized courts had claimed the right to rule on the Ergenekon releases and refused to set the detainees free. The court claimed that its abolition was against the constitution and that parliament had usurped its authority. In the meantime, other courts ordered the releases as Turkey`s top judicial board – the Supreme Board of Judges and Persecutors – stated that the authority of establishing and abolishing courts was the responsibility of parliament.
HURRIYET reported on the abandoned football game between two prominent teams in the Turkish Super League – Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor – after some supporters tossed flares and other objects onto the pitch. The referee abandoned the match after which fans surrounded the stadium and clashed with police, forcing players to wait until midnight before leaving the area.
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