Thursday, May 22, 2008

Battle Lines Drawn

Yesterday the Supreme Court of Appeals' Chamber Presidents Council sounded off against the AKP government. A statement released by the court accused AKP of attempting to undermine the judiciary and looking to Europe for its solutions. The report criticized the party's submission of planned judicial reform to EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn before it had consulted the Turkish judiciary and asserted that the party's government was trying to inappropriately pressure the Court. Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek struck back that the court was acting like an opposition political party and EU politicians responded similarly.

Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey, said that the closure case is not about the judiciary and that the Constitutional Court revealed its own impartiality by releasing the statement. The warning was harsh and accompanied with a statement by the rapporteur that nowhere else in Europe do prosecutors enjoy the kind of power they do in Turkey.

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