Turkey Dodges Political Crisis
Top court votes not to disband Islamic ruling party
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 3:04 AM CDT
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the media after the country's top court, narrowly decided not to ban his ruling Justice and Development Party.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A major constitutional showdown in Turkey was narrowly averted yesterday when the nation's top court voted not to ban the ruling Islamic AKP party, which attorneys had argued is illegally attempting to dismantle Turkey's secular democracy. A judge described the razor-thin 6-5 vote as "a serious warning" to the party, reports Time.

The court also cut public funding for the party in half, and left Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the daunting task of healing the wounds of a bitterly divided nation. "The court decided to take the middle road," said a political scientist. "The verdict neither humiliates that half of the population which voted for this government, nor does it disappoint those sections of society who have concerns about the AKP."