Turkey: Ruling party escapes court ban
Turkey's top court on Wednesday decided against banning the ruling party over accusations that it was steering the country toward Islamic rule. The Constitutional Court, however, delivered a strong warning to the ruling Justice and Development Party and said it would lose half of its funding from the state treasury.
"The decision that came out was a warning to this party. It is a serious warning," said the court chairman, Hasim Kilic. "I hope that this outcome will be assessed and that the necessary measures will be taken."
According to the AP, he said six of the 11 judges wanted to ban the party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A total of seven votes were needed to ban it under court regulations.
In announcing the court decision, Kilic said judges were uncomfortable handling the court case and said it exposed the need for legal reforms that will elevate the quality of Turkish democracy. "We are facing serious difficulties with regard to democracy when we deal with closure cases," Kilic said. "But unfortunately, legal and constitutional reforms necessary to meet standards of modern democracies are not made."