International,  Iran,  Iraq

Turkey back from the brink

In light of the recent bombings in Turkey blamed on the PKK (and denied) some good news for Turkish democracy as Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AK) party escapes a court ban over its Islamist tendencies, which would have seen the government ushered from power.

The Times reports that six of the eleven judges in the country’s Constitutional Court voted to ban the AK party led by Prime Minister Erdogan leaving those who wanted to ban the ruling party one short of the majority needed.

The party did not escape completely without censure and was instead hit with a 50% cut in its funding for this year. It is being seen as a slap on the wrists, but the chief judge said it was a warning:

“I hope the party in question will evaluate the outcome very well and get the message it should get. We can see that there is tension in society . . . We must do all we can for sustainable conditions to be created for people to be able to live together whatever ideas or beliefs they hold,” Hasim Kilic, the court’s chairman, said — he was the only member of the court to vote to reject the case.

The Guardian says that the outcome paves the way for a possible truce between Turkey’s warring secular and pro-Islamic factions and a reprieve for Erdogan whose party has escalated the situation with its introduction of headscarves that has angered secularists.

However, while the ruling party celebrated Turkey’s military was attacking PKK guerrillas in Northern Iraq having blamed them for the bombings that killed 17.

AP reported that Turkey bombed Kurdish rebels and said many of a 40-strong rebel group outside a cave at Mount Qandil were killed. The Turkish attacks were co-ordinated with Iran, which shelled the same positioned. Nasty bed fellows.

However, PKK spkesman Ahmed Deniz said there were no casualties or serious damage.