Turkey's top court member confirms meeting top general

Turkish newspaper said Friday in its front-page that member had a secret meeting with general during the critical headscarf and AK Party closure case processes.

Turkey's top court member confirms meeting top general
The vice-president of Turkey's top court commented on Friday on the news stories affirming that he met a top general.

Osman Paksut, the vice-president of the Constitutional Court, said that he met Gen. Ilker Basbug, the land forces commander, twice or three times after he was elected as member of the court.

"My first meeting was to congratulate gen. Basbug for his nomination as the land forces commander, but I do not remember the purpose of my second visit," Paksut told reporters in Ankara.

Paksut said he had a third meeting with gen. Basbug a few days after Turkish Armed Forces concluded their operation on the north of Iraq, and told reporters that his aim was "to congratulate" the armed forces for its successful operation.

The vice-president said that the closure case against the ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party was not opened when he met with gen. Basbug, but said that the headscarf case might be filed.

Paksut argued that some circles were trying to link-up Turkish Armed Forces with the Constitutional Court.

"These are not the only claims arguing that the court and the armed forces are communicating regarding the cases debated by the court, and/or the armed forces are putting a pressure on the court," Paksut also said.

The "Taraf" newspaper published Friday in its front-page a story entitled "Paksut-Basbug meeting", and said that Paksut had a secret meeting with gen. Basbug during the critical headscarf and AK Party closure case processes.

The newspaper wrote that Paksut came to the Land Forces Command headquarters in a blue-black Mercedes car at 5 p.m. on March 4th, 2008 as a "special guest." He had a tete-a-tete meeting with Basbug that lasted about one hour and 15 minutes, the paper also said.

The paper wrote that the meeting took place seven days after the case filed against an amendment to revoke headscarf ban in universities, and 13 days before a closure case against AK Party was filed.

The newspaper commented that some military and judicial authorities, who were aware of the secret meeting and its timing, were uneasy.

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Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2008, 18:09
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