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POLITICS >Turkish PM Erdoğan again lashes out at all his 'foes'

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Erdoğan shows the crowd a bottle of water that was filtered in the Ambarlı Advanced Biological Treatment Plant, which he inaugurated on April 12. (Still from Doğan News Agency footage)

Erdoğan shows the crowd a bottle of water that was filtered in the Ambarlı Advanced Biological Treatment Plant, which he inaugurated on April 12. (Still from Doğan News Agency footage)

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan maintained his angry criticism of the Constitutional Court, the Gezi Park protesters, Twitter and the Gülen movement in a speech at the inauguration ceremony for the Advanced Biological Treatment Plant in Istanbul's Ambarlı neighborhood on April 12.

Saying the government had started work to finalize its "global projects," Erdoğan said the plant was a "vital investment" and demonstrated his government's green credentials.

"This is a great example of environmentalism. Who is the environmentalist now? The people of Gezi? All they can do is shatter windows and throw molotov cocktails around. Our job is to build," he said.

He continued to criticize the Gülen movement as "the parallel structure" and claimed that "Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have become tools in their operation." He also labelled Twitter as a "tax evader," while vowing to crack down on the San Francisco-based company to make them pay their taxes in Turkey.

The Constitutional Court also took its share of the latest criticism from the prime minister, who lashed out at the Court for its recent verdicts and called for its judges to "take off its robes and do politics."

On April 2, the Court had ordered the authorities to unblock Twitter, saying the executive decision to ban it violated the rights of users who had appealed the decision.

"We abide by the ruling, but we don't respect it. The country's constitutional institution comes up and defends the commercial rights of international companies, instead of the rights of the nation. It is an injustice for the nation to issue a verdict on this issue, while hundreds of files are still in the queue, waiting for the review [of the Constitutional Court]," Erdoğan said.

He also criticized the court after it had partly overturned a controversial judicial bill on the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) on April 11, demanding a redefinition of the justice minister’s increased competences.

"Everyone should know the limits of their authority. If they want to do politics, they can do it after taking off their [judge] robes. Your seat and your robe can make you appear powerful today, but it harms the country. Some people may applaud you now, but they won't stand by you tomorrow," Erdoğan said.

Although President Abdullah Gül had expressed his pleasure over the top court’s latest rulings as recently as April 3, several government figures have criticized the top judges, with some even suggesting that the structure of the Constitutional Court should be changed.

“We understand that some of the reactions might have been emotional," Haşim Kılıç, the head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, had said on April 7.

April/12/2014

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