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Turkish Judicial System Takes Blow in Ergenekon Verdict

Huseyin Celik, spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development Party, says if Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of Turkey, was alive, he would not even allow the defense lawyers in the Ergenekon trials to "peel potatoes."
A protester prepares to throw a stone at Turkish riot police during clashes after protesters tried to march to a courthouse in Silivri, where a hearing on people charged with attempting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government is due to take place August 5, 2013. A Turkish court on Monday sentenced a former military commander to life in prison and dozens of others including opposition members of parliament to long terms for plotting against the government, in a case that has e

On Aug. 7, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Huseyin Celik responded cynically to reactions to Monday's Ergenekon verdicts. “The lawyers are shouting out at the [Silivri] courtroom, 'All places are Silivri, everywhere is [under] assault.' Who is coming under what assault? These are lawyers screaming out, 'We’re soldiers of Mustafa Kemal.' May [people] love soldiers like you,” he said. 

“If Mustafa Kemal was alive, he would not even let you peel potatoes. Is it Mustafa Kemal on trial that you’re shouting out 'We are soldiers of Mustafa Kemal?' Is the republic Mustafa Kemal dreamed about the kind of a republic dominated by a network like Ergenekon? Why are you using and abusing Ataturk’s [name] for your own ends?” Celik continued. 

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