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Turkish premier denies connection between operation Ergenekon, AKP closure case 25 mars 2008

Posted by Acturca in Turkey / Turquie.
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BBC Monitoring European, 25 March 2008

Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English 24 Mar 08

Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan departed from capital Ankara on Monday for an official visit to three Balkan countries including Bosnia Hercegovina, Albania and Bulgaria.

Prior to his departure from Ankara’s Esenboga airport, Erdogan replied to questions.

Upon a question on recent remarks claiming that the latest detentions conducted within the framework of « Operation Ergenekon » had a connection with the closure case filed against Justice and Development (AK) Party, Erdogan said, « if I was that strong, I would prevent the closure case against my party ».

« It is quite wrong to put judicial and executive organs under suspicion with such a calumny. The jurisdiction has carried out its duty. That is the fact, » Erdogan said.

When asked whether a constitutional amendment aiming to complicate the closure of political parties was on the agenda, Erdogan said the legislative organ would always use the rights it possessed concerning such issue.

« Upcoming days will show us whether it will use such right or not. We desire our country not to be faced with such issues while it is carrying out an intensive fight against terrorism and it is displaying a remarkable progress in economy, » he said.

Moreover, replying to a question on whether US Vice President Dick Cheney requested additional troops from Turkey to be deployed in Afghanistan during his talks in Ankara, Erdogan said there was not such a demand.

Erdogan on his visits

Erdogan briefed reporters on his scheduled visits to Bosnia-Hercegovina, Albania and Bulgaria as well.

He said he would hold talks with Turkish cognates in Sofia and Kircaali during his stay in Bulgaria.

Erdogan also said the security and stability of Balkans would be on the agenda of his meetings with officials of the three countries.

Noting that he would meet the presidents, prime ministers and parliament speakers of these countries, Erdogan added that business council meetings will also be held within the framework of his visit.

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