Independence Tribunals (Turkey)

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Members of the Ankara Independence Court; from left to right: Kılıç Ali Bey, "Kel" Ali Bey, Necip Ali Bey, and Reşit Galip Bey

The Independence Tribunals (Tr: İstiklâl mahkemesi or İstiklâl Mahkemeleri) were eight special courts founded during the Turkish War of Independence to prosecute those who were against the system of the government. They were located in Ankara, Eskişehir, Konya, Isparta, Sivas, Kastamonu, Pozantı, and Diyarbakır. All but the Ankara court were terminated in 1921.

After the law authorizing the Independence Courts was passed, the former Commander of Turkish Armed Forces, General İsmet İnönü, proposed founding 14 Independence Courts. Only 7 courts were established, as it was felt that there would not be enough cases to justify fourteen courts. One month after the establishment of the courts, another court in Diyarbakır was established, bringing the total number to eight.

After the end of the war, many felt that the Courts were no longer needed. Although the government hoped to extend the life of the Courts, opposition pressure led to the closure of seven of the Independence Courts in 1921. Only the Ankara State Independence Court was left operational until 1927.

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