Turkey to bring Muslim Ahi Order to the judiciary, Erdoğan says
Turkey will introduce a so-called “master and protégé” system to the judiciary, which is the basis of the Muslim Ahi Order, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
Judges and prosecutors will be required to serve for three years as assistant judges and prosecutors so that they can first gain full knowledge of the judicial system, Erdoğan said in a speech, the Bianet news website reported on Tuesday.
"I honestly do not want to see any prosecutor, judge, or member of the judiciary in this country with an approach that is incompatible with the law," Erdoğan said. "The rule of law is an indispensable condition of democracy.”
The European Union has called on Turkey to improve its judicial system, including guaranteeing the independence of judges and prosecutors and adhering to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Turkey’s shortcomings in the rule of law and democracy have led to the freezing of its membership talks with the EU and the jailing of human rights activists and journalists on spurious charges, including philanthropist Osman Kavala.
The Ahi Order, a religious brotherhood or ‘beylik’, helped Turks transition to settled life from a nomadic existence in Anatolia in the early 13th century. The order was founded and was led by Ahi Evren, an Islamic preacher and leather dealer who helped organise and train Muslim craftsmen in the cities, starting in the Anatolian city of Kayseri.
Turkey has significant problems with judicial independence, severe restrictions on freedom of the press and expression, as well as with freedoms of assembly, association and movement, the U.S. State Department said in a 93-page annual report on human rights practices in Turkey published last month.