After close to five hours of intense deliberations, the eleven judges of Turkey’s Constitutional Court decided in a rare unanimous ruling to take up the case for closing down the Justice and Development Party(AKP) and banning the prime minister and dozens of lawmakers from politics. The chief prosecutor who led the fight to close down the AKP claims it is a focal point for anti-secular activities. Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yllcinkaya, requested closing down the political party and imposing a ban on 71 of its tp leaders which would prevent them from being involved in politics for five years.
In his indictment the Public Prosecutor charged: “All actions and rhetoric of the party is aimed at establishing an Islamic society in which Islamic rules and values have priority… and then carrying out legal arrangements to move towad Shariah.” The AKP has four weeks to offer its initial defense against the charges.
This blog opposes all forms of Islamic extremism as we oppose all those seeking to deny democratic rights in a nation. The people of Turkey have elected the AKP as their governing body and, as of this date, there has been no effort on the part of its leaders to move toward imposing Shariah law other than seeking to end the ban on wearing the headscarf in universities. The act of declaring a political party guilty on the basis of speech rather than actions raises issues of the meaning of democracy.