The decision of the Council of State, Türkiye’s top administrative court, to exempt judges from pat-downs at airports could cause problems with international acceptance and credibility of Türkiye in the global aviation industry and airports, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu has said.
“If you allow a flight without following the rules, then you may face different behaviors or sanctions in the country you go to. If you bring this to a certain level, this time you will raise the debate about the accreditation of airports in Türkiye,” he added.
“There are valid procedures and rules in the world. We are a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization. From that membership, you fly all over the world with the rules applied in Türkiye,” Uraloğlu said.
“The first level of the judiciary has made a decision on this. We have appealed, we are following it, we expect it to be corrected there,” the minister stated.
The Council of State issued a landmark ruling declaring it illegal to subject judges to pat-downs when X-ray screening devices raise alarms at airport entrances.
Judge Aykut Resuloğlu filed a lawsuit at the Council of State on May 10, 2018, against a security officer’s request for a pat-down at Kars Airport in order to go to Sabiha Gökçen Airport.
The 10th Chamber of the Council of State annulled the regulation of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation that stipulated that “judges, prosecutors and lawyers, like all other passengers, will not be allowed on the plane if they request not to be patted down,” and ruled that judges cannot be frisked.
The ministry has argued that the request to exempt judges from body searches “does not comply with international aviation security standards.” The ministry also stressed that judges and prosecutors should not be denied access to secure areas at airports if they refuse to undergo such searches.