PHOTO from Hurriyet
The fears of those who opposed last September's referendum on the grounds that the constitutional amendments approved therein would strengthen the AKP government's hold over the judiciary may be coming home to roost. The Council of State, Turkey's chief administrative court, has elected Huseyin Karakullukcu to the court's presidency, a vote facilitated by newly appointed Council of State judges. For more (in Turkish), click here.
In Turkey, judges are appointed by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), the composition of which was altered by the recent amendments. The HSYK was expanded from seven to 22 members, 19 of which are appointed by a variety of institutions. Earlier Nazim Kaynak, another friend of Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, was appointed to head the Supreme Court of Appeals, the same institution that in 2008 brought a closure case against the AKP.
After Karakullukcu's election, Arinc said the appointment was "another blessing given by God."