Monday, January 25, 2010

Court Says No to Civilian Courts

The other big story in civil-military relations last week occurred Thursday when the Constitutional Court struck down an amendment to the Constitution allowing military officers to be tried in civilian courts for crimes involving threats to national security, constitutional violations, the organization of armed groups, and attempts to topple the government in peace time. The Court ruled the amendment to the Code on Criminal Procedure infringed on Article 145 of the Constitution. As Hürriyet reports, the law leaves cases involving military officers prosecuted in the Ergenekon investigation and various coup plans in legally murky waters. The AKP passed the reform in June, after which the CHP applied to the Court for its annulment.

As part of Turkey's accession process, the European Union has long reiterated Turkey try military officers in civilian courts for civilian crimes. The AKP is set to announce its plans to pass amendments to the constitution next month.

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