Turkey takes steps to tighten grip on judiciary

AP News
Posted: Jan 09, 2014 7:06 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish parliamentary committee is planning to debate a measure that would tighten Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on the judiciary as his government fends off a corruption scandal that has implicated former Cabinet ministers.

The parliament's justice committee is scheduled on Friday to take up a government-proposed bill that would strengthen the justice ministry's hold on a council that appoints judges and prosecutors and oversees their work.

Erdogan insists the corruption charges are a conspiracy orchestrated by followers of an Islamic movement who he says have infiltrated the police and judiciary. He has vowed to fight back; the government has already removed hundreds of police officers from key posts.

The Electoral College Debate
Walter E. Williams

Critics say the measure is an affront to the independence of the judiciary.