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Is Turkey reverting to a 'muhaberat' state?

The Turkish prime minister's interference with the judiciary and a new intelligence bill could signal a return to a single-ruler era — the era of the "national chief."
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (first row, C) attends a meeting with members of his ruling AK Party at his party headquarters in Ankara September 28, 2011. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR2RXTQ
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Is Turkey becoming an intelligence state? Is the country reverting to the era of the "supreme national chief"? These questions are frequently asked nowadays. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who has not hesitated to punish judges, prosecutors and police who he accused of being part of a "parallel state" — now wants to increase his operational powers internally and abroad with a new National Intelligence Organization (MIT) law that would also reinforce his immunity. For the opposition, this is called a "muhaberat," or intelligence, state. 

For Erdogan, courts that issue rulings compatible with the government’s stances are “patriotic,” but those not toeing the government line are “non-national.” Erdogan, who called the Constitutional Court “non-national” because it deemed the Twitter ban a violation of rights, admonished the court's president, Hasim Kilic, when the court annulled the law on the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), saying, “Those who want to be in politics will take off their gowns and do it.” 

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