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Newsweek: Turkey’s Judicial Coup D’etat

Authors: Morton I. Abramowitz, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and Henri J. Barkey
April 7, 2008

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Summary:

Turkey is at war with itself again, over religion and politics in Turkish life, and the consequences for both itself and its friends could be devastating. "The nation's chief prosecutor prepared an indictment of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for allegedly violating the Constitution's principle of secularism," writes Morton Abramowitz, senior fellow at the Century Foundation, and Henri J. Barkey, chair of the International Relations Department at Lehigh University. "Though it is legal to pursue such a case, it is, to many Turks, quite simply a judicial coup ... jeopardizing the country's political and economic stability, already suffering from world market pressures."

Excerpt:

Turkey is at war with itself again, over religion and politics in Turkish life, and the consequences for both itself and its friends could be devastating. Last month, the nation's chief prosecutor prepared an indictment of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for allegedly violating the Constitution's principle of secularism. The indictment, triggered by the AKP's decision to remove constitutional provisions prohibiting wearing headscarves in universities, seeks literally to abolish the party. It also demands that 71 AKP officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, be banned from politics for five years.

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