World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's special courts which deal with crimes against the constitutional order will be totally abolished as part of a government judicial reform package, but only after ongoing trials being heard in these courts are concluded, a senior official from the ruling party has said.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Mustafa Elitaş told reporters in Parliament that specially authorized courts will continue functioning until ongoing trials are concluded as he responded to questions about a government plan to pass a law that will abolish these courts.
The government is reported to be planning a revision of Article 250 of the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK), which gives special authority to courts and prosecutors when investigating organized crime and coup plots. The content of the bill on Article 250 has not been announced to the public yet, but the bill is expected to be passed in Parliament before July 1, when Parliament adjourns for summer recess.
Article 250 of the CMK gives civilian prosecutors the power to investigate military personnel accused of crimes that threaten national security, violate the Constitution or attempt to topple the government during peacetime. Some of the most important cases undertaken by specially authorized courts are the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) trial and the Ergenekon trial, in which suspects are accused of attempting to overthrow the government, in addition to a case against the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), in which suspects are accused of being involved in terrorism.
A major operation in Istanbul and other cities saw 104 police officers and chiefs detained and 22 of them sent to the court.
Troubles in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and Israel are forcing airlines travelling between the east and the west to fly through Turkey.
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Turkey called on citizens to immediately leave Libya and avoid non-essential travel after airports were closed down due to shelling.
Turkish dailies reported Thursday on the latest developments of the operation in Istanbul and other cities against the police officers and officials in wiretapping probe, the latest clashes in Israel and Palestine and the Taiwan plane crash which left 51 dead.
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Salih Mirzabeyoglu, otherwise known as Salih Izzet Erdis, was locked up following Turkey's 28 February 1997 coup.
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Turkey's Deputy PM Bulent Arinc said a ceasefire must be declared at once between Palestine and Israel and demanded an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
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