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POLITICS > Turkish PM indirectly slams top judge of protecting the ‘parallel gang’

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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan indirectly accused Turkey’s top judge of being either part of what he calls “the parallel structure” or of protecting it for his future personal ambitions.

The attack comes two days after his government was severely criticized by the head of the Constitutional Court.

“I said it yesterday and I repeat it today: They [the parallel structure] listened to the head and the members of the Constitutional Court. I think some people will understand what I mean,” Erdoğan said in his party’s rally in Kayseri on April 27.

On April 25, Haşim Kılıç, the head of the top court, harshly slammed the government for interfering with judicial independence and of accusing judges and prosecutors of trying to undermine the government.

Kılıç urged the government to document all its claims against justice and take all of the necessary measures against those involved in such illegal affairs, but to give up a massive offensive against the entire justice system.

“Those who ask us to document or ask where this parallel structure is: are these eavesdropping cases not the document to you? Those who ask this question are either part of parallel [structure] or protecting this structure to get something in return,” Erdoğan said without directly referring to Kılıç.

The “parallel structure” or “parallel state” are terms used by government members to describe the pro-Fethullah Gülen community members within the justice system and police who are believed to have launched a massive corruption and graft operation against Erdoğan and some of his ministers.

Erdoğan repeated that his government will continue to fight against the structure by vowing to walk into their den. “But it’s not going to be an overnight issue. We’ll be patient, we’ll do it slowly. We will not tolerate anybody threatening the country’s national security,” Erdoğan said.

The prime minister recalled the military’s attempt to intervene in the presidential elections seven years ago through a written statement issued on April 27, and underlined that similar efforts are being observed for the upcoming local elections.

“The oppositional parties declare they will appoint candidates. We will do so as well. I am confident that our people will elect our candidate for the presidency at the first leg of the election on Aug. 10,” he stressed. “The people will elect their leader. The people will elect Turkey’s new president.”

April/27/2014

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