Turkey's highest court has accused the Islamic-rooted governing party
of exploiting religion for political ends, but it says there is no
evidence the party is promoting violence.
In a statement
released Friday, the Constitutional Court outlined its reasons for
ruling in July against a ban on the ruling Justice and Development (AK)
party on charges the party violated secular laws.
Friday said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and key AK party members
had breached several secular norms. It cited a government attempt to
lift a ban on wearing Islamic headscarves at universities.
the court said it found no evidence the party is seeking to overthrow
the country's secular system through violence. It said the party has
also launched reforms to improve democratic freedoms and human rights.
chief prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, had called for the court to
bar 70 ruling party members from politics, including President Abdullah
Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan. He accused them of trying to replace
the country's secular principles with an Islamic government.
The party denied the charges.
Constitutional Court rejected the accusations in July, ruling against a
ban. It ruled instead for the party to be fined, calling the financial
sanctions a serious warning.