Accessibility links

Political Crisis in Turkey Deepens


The political crisis in Turkey continues to deepen, following a move by the country's top prosecutor to try to disband the ruling Justice and Development Party on charges of undermining the secular state. The prime minister and president, both members of the Islamic-rooted party, are also facing a political ban of five years. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spent the day in talks with his ministers and parliamentary deputies.

Mr. Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, the AKP, is accused of undermining the secular state by pushing the parliament to overturn a decades-old ban on the wearing of Islamic head scarves at universities.

Mr. Erdogan has insisted that his party is loyal to the country's secular traditions.

He has dismissed the latest charges but warned of the damaging effect to the country if the prosecutor is successful in disbanding the party.

Mr. Erdogan said democracy would be damaged by the move. And he said, if democracy is harmed, then the country's economy would be harmed.

Turkey's stock market was rocked by the latest political developments and stock prices fell sharply, along with a sharp drop in the value of the country's currency.

A judge for the country's constitutional court has said it would take only days to decide whether to hear the case. But even if the courts agree to hear the suit, according to many analysts it is considered unlikely that the required seven of the 11 judges will vote in favor of closure.

But the fear in Turkey is that it could face weeks, if not months, of political uncertainty while the court deliberates the suit.

Political columnist Nuray Mert says the case is part of more worrying trend.

"This tension will go on and on, I cannot see any solution at the moment, neither the government takes a step back nor the opposition, not only the opposition party but all these circles, judiciary universities there are not incline to take a step , so I cannot see any future of compromise," Mert said.

All eyes in Turkey are now on the constitutional court and whether it will take the case. If it does agree to hear the closure case, then Turkey is expected to face weeks if not months of political uncertainty.

XS
SM
MD
LG