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Reduce court's power, Turkish politician suggests
The Star ^ | 6/7/08 | SELCAN HACAOGLU

Posted on 06/07/2008 12:32:14 PM PDT by Dawnsblood

Turkey's parliamentary speaker on Saturday proposed a new constitution and re-establishment of an upper house of parliament, apparently with the aim of reducing the power of the country's top court.

The Constitutional Court infuriated the Islamic-oriented government on Thursday by rejecting legislation that would have lifted a ban on Muslim headscarves in universities. It said the move would violate Turkey's secular principles.

Speaker Koksal Toptan, speaking in a hall at the parliament, said re-installing the upper house, or Senate, would remove what he called "the pressure on the court." The Senate was abolished after Turkey's 1980 military coup on the grounds that it slowed legislation.

Toptan accused the Constitutional Court of "overstepping its power and seizing the power of the parliament." The government leveled similar accusations against the court on Friday night.

"If powers encroach into each other's territory, that could most affect democracy," Toptan said.

Toptan's proposals immediately drew the ire of the main secular opposition party.

Onur Oymen, a prominent member of the Republican People's Party, said Toptan's suggestions "amount to threats to the Constitutional Court to cripple its powers after a ruling that annoyed the government.''

Party head Deniz Baykal said the political environment was not suitable to debate a new constitution.

The court canceled legislation aimed at allowing women to wear head scarves on campus. The measure had been approved by 411 lawmakers in the 550-seat Parliament.

The court, if asked, will review any legislation. Its decision is final.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: churchandstate; democracy; highcourt; islam; judiciary; secular; turkey

1 posted on 06/07/2008 12:32:14 PM PDT by Dawnsblood
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To: Dawnsblood

sounds like their high court saved them from a creeping Islamization of the government

2 posted on 06/07/2008 1:40:43 PM PDT by babble-on
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To: babble-on
Or saved the Islamists from another military coup. Ataturk set the military as the ultimate guarantor of secular government and they have not been shy in the past about upholding that responsibility.
3 posted on 06/07/2008 2:11:19 PM PDT by Dawnsblood
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