Judge who defied top Turkish court wins promotion

A Turkish criminal court judge who openly defied a ruling of the country’s Constitutional Court has been promoted to the Supreme Court, the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

Judge Abdurrahman Orkun Dağ made headlines when the Constitutional Court ruled to release government critic Mehmet Altan, who was detained on terror charges, but defied the judicial hierarchy to reject the decision and order Altan’s continued detention.

Dağ was also the head judge at the trial of a number of Cumhuriyet journalists charged with espionage, aiding terrorists and revealing state secrets over an article that revealed that Turkey’s secret services were shipping arms to Syrian rebel groups.

The newspaper said that throughout the trial he sought to pass judgment on its opposition editorial line. Twelve Cumhuriyet journalists were sentenced to between three and eight years when the case concluded on April 25.

Among the other judges promoted to the Supreme Court was Hulusi Pur, who is best known for giving pianist Fazıl Say a 10-month prison sentence for blasphemy after sharing lines of poetry by Omar Khayyam on Twitter.