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Turkey's top court upholds separation of powers

Turkey’s Constitutional Court overturned a bill strengthening the powers of the minister of justice over the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag addresses the Turkish Parliament during a debate in Ankara March 19, 2014. Parliament convened in the capital Ankara for the hearing of a prosecutor report allegedly outlining the role of four former ministers in a corruption scandal that became public in December 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3HRDM

While signing into law the controversial bill on the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) on Feb. 26, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said he found at least 15 articles in violation of the Turkish constitution and that he was assured that the ruling party would make the necessary adjustments at the Parliamentary Justice Commission to amend those violations.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), however, did not agree and filed suit at the Constitutional Court on March 2 for this law’s annulment. The court decided on April 11 that the new articles in this law that bolster the control of the minister of justice over the HSYK are actually unconstitutional because they attempt to overrule the independence of the judiciary with respect to the executive.

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