ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
In another episode of the ongoing government-judiciary squabble, the country's top court Friday harshly responded to criticisms by government circles over the annulment of the headscarf amendments, describing the denigrations as inhuman and unethical.
�Despite the fact that any action or statement on an ongoing case is committing a crime according to our penal code, it is worrying to witness the passivity of the responsible authorities,� the Constitutional Court said in a written statement Friday.
The 11-judge court annulled the constitutional amendments lifting the ban on the wearing of the headscarf in universities, sparking harsh criticisms from government officials, politicians and pro-government media. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the judges of taking the national will hostage while some officials proposed to scrap the court's rights. The court is also hearing a closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, on the grounds that the party has become the focal point of anti-secular activities.
�Our rulings can of course be criticized on scientific and legal grounds. But efforts to attack the private lives of the members of the court, to target them, to fabricate scenarios about the possible results of ongoing cases cannot be evaluated as criticisms,� the statement read. Accusing the politicians of not being able to find adequate solutions to the problems and instead putting them in front of the judiciary, the court advised them to rely on the democratic parliamentary system.
Paksüt denies reports
Meanwhile, Osman Paksüt, acting president of the court, denied press reports that he had met with Land Forces Commander Gen. İlker Başbuğ to discuss the ongoing closure case against the AKP. �I met him two or three times,� Paksüt said, but denied that the conversations were about the case, in a press conference he held Friday with his wife.
Last month, Paksüt argued that he was being stalked by the police and accused police officials of not giving him sufficient information about a car with fake number plates that had tailed him in Ankara. He stated that he knew Gen. Başbuğ when he was serving as a diplomat between 1995 and 1997, and continued working with him when he was Turkey's top diplomat in Baghdad in 2002. �My last visit to him was a few days after the military's air raid in northern Iraq. Then we discussed Iraq,� he said.
�Three separate newspapers gave details about my visits to military headquarters,� he said, �which shows that my arguments of being stalked are not delusions.�