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    Turkish PM criticizes Supreme Court's statement

    Hurriyet English with wires
    25.05.2008 - 16:13 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday the Supreme Court did not have authority to issue the statement that criticized last week "certain political circles" for attempting to influence and control the judiciary. (UPDATED)

    "If such a statement regarding a political party, which is a defendant of a closure case, is issued, it would be betraying more than 16 million people who voted for my party. I can not leave it unanswered," Erdogan told a party meeting in Ankara. 

    The Supreme Court accused the government last week of creating a "judiciary controlled by an executive body." AKP slammed the statement saying the high courts lost their neutrality and independence by making political statements. The exchange of harsh statements signaled a new phase in the conflict between the AKP government, who is under pressure of closure case, and the judiciary.

    "The Court issued that statement concerning themselves, not with an authority granted by laws or the constitution," Erdogan added.

    "There is no such authority and if we remain silent as administrators who won 16.5 million votes, then we, the voice of silent mass, will become the silent mass. Everybody should mind his/her own business," he also said.

    He added there was no enmity between the Supreme Court and the government and added laws should not discriminate individuals or political parties. 

    Erdogan also told reporters on Sunday before his departure for Lebanon, the President Abdullah Gul would probably take a step with common sense regarding the issue.

    Nationalist MHP's leader Devlet Bahceli has called Gul to step in to reduce the tension. Gul said he is considering the call. 



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