Turkey's top court has decided to hold its first hearings early next month in a case seeking to ban the country's ruling party.
sources Tuesday said Turkey's Constitutional Court will hear the
prosecution's oral arguments in the controversial case on July 1.
prosecution petitioned the court in March, saying the governing Justice
and Development (AK) party should be dissolved because it threatens
Turkey's secular principles.
Prosecutors also are calling for
about 70 AK party members, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, to be barred from politics.
AK party has denied the charges and calls the petition
anti-democratic. The party's defense is expected to make its oral
arguments on July 3.
The European Union has criticized the
proposed ban, warning that the case may interfere with Turkey's
long-term goals of joining the EU.
Turkish secularists have
criticized the AK for alleged attacks on Turkey's secular system,
including easing restrictions on religious symbols such as Islamic
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.