Turkish PM's office denies reports on party plans

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office on Monday denied local media reports about his ruling AK Party's planned response to a bid to close it down for anti-secular activities.

Turkish PM's office denies reports on party plans
A leading broadcaster and national newspaper had said Erdogan would form a new party if the Constitutional Court shuts it down in a case which has rattled financial markets and triggered fears of months of political uncertainty.

Broadcaster Kanal D said on its website preparations for the creation of a new party were complete. It said Erdogan disclosed the information at a dinner with a small group of journalists on Saturday evening.

"The stories do not reflect the exact truth in terms of the contents of the conversation, the nature of the invitation and the list of invitees," the statement from Erdogan's office said.

"In particular some untrue statements attributed to our prime minister regarding an ongoing court case and its possible outcome are viewed as being far from well-intentioned," the statement said.

It said the so-called "road map" for the party referred to in the reports was based on the writers' assumptions.

Last week the AK Party submitted its initial defence in the case in which a prosecutor is seeking to ban 71 AK members from party politics for five years, including Erdogan.

"We will not create tensions for Turkey," Vatan newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying.

"This case will be completed by July," he was reported as saying, adding that the Turkish economy could not cope with an extended court process.

It also quoted him as saying he did not expect the court to actually shut the party down and that he would not seek constitutional changes to avert the closure.

The AK Party, which won a sweeping re-election last July, rejects charges that its members were engaged in anti-secular activities and says the case is politically motivated.

Erdogan was reported as saying he would call new elections and run as an independent candidate if he was personally banned.

Last Mod: 05 Mayıs 2008, 17:22
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