Turkish parliament gives government more control over judiciary

By REUTERS
February 15, 2014 12:06




Turkey's parliament approved a law giving the government more control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors on Saturday, after heated debate and a brawl in which an opposition member of parliament was hospitalized.

The battle for control of the Higher Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), the body which appoints senior members of the judiciary, lies at the heart of a feud between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.



Gulen, whose followers say they number in the millions, has built up quiet influence in the police and judiciary over decades. Erdogan blames him for unleashing a corruption investigation he sees as designed to unseat him.



The decision to approve the law came after a night of heated debate and a brawl that left one opposition member of parliament with a bloody nose. Local media reported that Ali Ihsan Kokturk, MP for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), was hospitalized with a broken nose.


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