Turkish Judge Hints At Anti-Government Ruling

Hasim Kilic, chief justice of the eleven member Constitutional Court of Turkey said the outcome of the court’s ruling on whether the Justice and Development Party(AKP) has acted legally will not impact the future of Turkish democracy. He told a newspaper: “Whatever the ruling is, you will see that our democracy, secularism, and rule of law will be strengthened by this process, believe in me.” The Court is currently dealling with a case brought before it by the chief prosecutor which charges the AKP with violating the nation’s constitution because of alledged desires to impose Muslim law, a position which violates the secular constitution.

Turkey has been a model of a society which believes in Muslim law but also adheres to a constitution which places secular values as the foundation of the nation. The AKP has attempted to walk the tight rope of maintaining secular law while making some changes such as allowing females to wear a headscarf in the university. Ironically, the European Union, which wants Turkey to be centered in secular values also does not believe a court of law should be able to close down a political power. It wants the court of public opinion alone to possess such authority.