Destinations Magazine

Turkey’s Prime Minister: Erdogan v Judges, Again

By Stizzard

THE biggest foes of Recep Tayyip Erdogan were the generals and the judges, who made common cause to try to oust Turkey’s pious prime minister (he was trained as an imam) on thinly supported charges of steering the country towards Islamic rule. But they failed. The army was tamed through a series of court cases against alleged coup-plotters. The judiciary was overhauled after constitutional reforms were approved in a referendum in 2010. Turkey’s democracy was at last on track, many hoped, until Mr Erdogan began tilting towards unabashed authoritarianism after winning a third term in 2011.Flush with yet another victory in the March 30th local elections, in which his conservative Justice and Development (AK) party swept up 45% of the vote, Mr Erdogan is now back at war with the judges and, say many Turks, with democracy itself. On April 11th the constitutional court overturned parts of a bill rammed through in February to give the government greater control over the judiciary. The power grab was part of a broader campaign to quash corruption charges levelled against Mr Erdogan’s children, business cronies and members of his cabinet. The campaign included a ban on a social-media site, Twitter, on which a stream of incriminating recordings of alleged conversations between Mr Erdogan and his son Bilal were posted.The court threw out the Twitter ban earlier this month, and access…

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