Sunday, February 7, 2010

Legal Reforms and Judicial Independence in Turkey - Update

An earlier blog posting titled, Legal Reforms and Judicial Independence in Turkey: The Western-Donor-Aid Issue (Nov. 5, 2009), addresses the issues of modern judicial reforms in the Republic of Turkey (Turkey). The political party in power is the AKP government or the Justice and Development Party or White Party (i.e., Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi). 

The model of Turkey’s judiciary is influenced by the ruling Islamist-oriented Justice and Development Party (AKP), and the influence of those in opposition to Turkey’s ruling AKP, which are both Turkey’s fiercely secular, powerful military force, and  the secular opposition party of the People’s Republican Party. All of this will eventually present an interesting episode in constitutionalism and its attendant judicial powers, especially the independence of a judiciary.

 As an update to the earlier blog, there is the new information from the Eurasia Security Watch, which reported that:
Turkey’s ruling Islamist-oriented Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been struck a major blow in its ongoing tug-of-war with the country’s fiercely secular military. The relationship between Turkey's powerful armed forces and civilian government has been a rocky one (with four military coups in 50 years), particularly when it is led by religious parties. But the AKP has been on the offensive in recent years, making dozens of arrests of retired and active military officers on allegations of plotting another coup or undermining the government. Perhaps the AKP's most audacious move, however, was its stage-managing of legislation (passed last year) granting civilian courts the power to prosecute military personnel in peacetime for “crimes against national security, constitutional violations and attempts to topple the government.” However, Turkey’s secular opposition party, the People’s Republican Party, challenged that law in court and on January 21th the verdict came down: a unanimous vote by Turkey’s Constitutional Court to strike the measure down. (Istanbul Zaman, January 22, 2010).
Editor, Jeff Smith, Eurasia Security Watch, No. 217, Feb. 5, 2010.
M. Ulric Killion, Legal Reforms and Judicial Independence in Turkey: The Western-Donor-Aid Issue, Nov. 5, 2009 (Alternative web link at M. Ulric Killion’s space).

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