With the planned change, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government aims to halt direct individual appeals to the court, arguing that the cases should first be heard in the lower courts and, after the process is completed in these courts, then the Constitutional Court would have the right to hear the case.
The proposal for this amendment to diminish the powers of the Constitutional Court was brought to the agenda during the AK Party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting late on Monday, as well as the Cabinet meeting.
The members discussed measures that could be taken to annul a previous regulation allowing the introduction of individual applications to the Constitutional Court in 2013.
On Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asserted that the Twitter ruling “should be corrected,” while speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting.
According to the Radikal daily, Erdoğan ordered the Ministry of Justice to establish a commission composed of bureaucrats and AK Party jurists to review the proposition of a draft law to change the powers of the Constitutional Court law and bring this proposition to Parliament as soon as possible.
Reacting harshly to the court’s ruling to remove the ban on Twitter, Erdoğan suggested that the court’s members might be part of what he calls the “parallel structure.”
He said the Constitutional Court should have rejected the appeal without hearing it, arguing that the ban should have been challenged in the lower courts first.
After individual appeals to the court were discussed at the MYK meeting, the Ministry of Justice also made a statement regarding the court’s Twitter ruling, asserting that unless an individual appeal has already been heard by lower courts, it cannot be heard by the Constitutional Court.
In a written statement, the Ministry of Justice said that the court’s powers and functions are defined in Article 148 of the Constitution, according to which the court can hear individual applications after the local court trial is completed.
The Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday to stay the execution of Articles 14 and 19 of the Full Day Law concerning health-care personnel following an appeal by the Republican People’s Party (CHP). The court ruled that these articles of the law were against the Constitution, which stipulates that doctors employed at university hospitals must work a full day in their state positions and cannot work in a private practice at the same time.
With the articles of the law that were annulled by the court, those doctors working at university hospitals would not be fired if they did not leave their private posts and could continue working in private clinics alongside their state positions. Prior to the nullification of these articles, doctors were required to resign if they did not leave their positions in private clinics.
The Full Day Law went into effect in October 2011, stipulating that doctors employed at university hospitals must work a full day in their state positions and cannot work in private practice at the same time.
Several university hospitals had opposed the regulation, stating that they no longer had enough doctors in their hospitals because many had left their state posts to continue working in private clinics. These hospitals claimed that their services were failing and that people had difficulty in seeing a doctor at such university hospitals.