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The trouble with Turkey

The decision not to outlaw the ruling AK party was welcomed by virtually all Turks. But it was no victory for democracy, and may well stifle reform

By Nicholas Birch   August 2008

The Turkish people heaved a collective sigh of relief this week after their constitutional court narrowly voted against a call for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party to be closed down for anti-secular activities. Politicians of all stripes found something to celebrate in the judges’ decision. Unnerved by months of political uncertainty, foreign investors now look set to return to one of the region’s most promising economies. European politicians who had warned that a ban could end Turkey’s EU accession bid applauded like misty-eyed soccer mums from the sidelines.

But the court’s ruling on the case brought by the…

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