Fear of political power takes Turkey's prosecutors in his grip

In a new development, which adds to the suspicions that Turkey once more enters a new era of impunity, Süleyman Taşbaş, head of the Justice and Law Association, has claimed that several prosecutors in İstanbul refused to accept a criminal complaint submitted by lawyers and law associations against several politicians, including the prime minister.

On Wednesday, Taşbaş said they had to go to quite a few prosecutors to have their complaint accepted.

“When the [first] prosecutor saw the names mentioned in the criminal complaint, he said the issue did not fall within the scope of his authority and refused to accept the complaint. Then we went to another prosecutor. He did not accept the complaint, either. Then we went to a prosecutor who deals with particular types of crimes and our complaint was again rejected. Next, we went to a deputy chief public prosecutor and he refused to accept the complaint, too. Finally, another prosecutor agreed to accept the complaint after we were very persistent,” the lawyer stated.

The complaint accuses the prime minister of maliciously trying to distort public perceptions about charges of corruption and bribery that have implicated members of his government and of tampering with evidence concerning the current investigation of those charges.

The government has reassigned police officers and prosecutors who were involved in the investigation of corruption and bribery in an effort to prevent the scandal from deepening. A second investigation, rumored to be even more serious for the government due to the involvement of Erdoğan and his children, is alleged to have been stifled in a blitzkrieg operation by the government, in which key police officers were replaced overnight and regulations introduced to cripple the investigative process.