Ankara, Turkey (GPA) – A Turkish judge who formerly served on international criminal proceedings concerning Yugoslavia and Rwanda has been arrested.
The judge is accused of being involved in some way with the coup attempt this past July. The UN court president Theodor Meron told the UN general assembly today that the Turkish government has denied several requests to visit the incarcerated judge.
As a judge for the UN, Aydin Sedaf Akay would be entitled to diplomatic immunity and some are saying this is possibly the first time this privilege of UN judges has ever been violated.
Judges at all levels have been targets since the coup attempt against Turkish president Erdogan in July. Turkey has suspended 2,800+ judges in since the summer. Although not all have been incarcerated this is still the equivalent of “suspending every state judge in California, Texas, New York and Georgia.”
Akay was arrested in late September and has had no communications with international authorities since then. President Erdogan has used the post coup atmosphere to both fire and jail not just judges but teachers, soldiers, journalists, professors and any other opposition he sees fit. The judge is just the latest official with the highest ties to be arrested and denied protections guaranteed by Turkish law.