Turkey's Erdogan signals judicial reform will go ahead despite corruption scandal.
Turkey's Erdogan signals judicial reform will go ahead despite corruption scandal.

Turkish Prime Minister "Recep Tayyip Erdogan" signaled today that his government would go ahead with controversial reforms curbing judges' powers amid a deepening corruption scandal.

Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul that "the commission put the proposals to vote yesterday (Saturday) and decided that they were not against the constitution".

Fierce scuffles erupted on Saturday ahead of a second round of debate on the government-led proposals in parliament's justice commission, with politicians throwing punches, water bottles and even an IPad.

The reforms proposed by Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would give the justice ministry more control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors.

But the country's top judicial body the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has criticised the proposals for being unconstitutional and opposition parties have demanded that the reforms be dropped.

On Saturday, Justice Minister "Bekir Bozdag" said if political parties reached a consensus, the proposal could be abandoned.

But the Turkish premier vowed that the reforms would go to the parliament floor having been discussed in the justice commission.

Turkey plunged into turmoil on December 17 when police rounded up dozens of people including sons of former ministers and top businessmen suspected of corruption and bribery.

Erdogan has lashed out at a "judicial coup", accusing prosecutors running the case of plotting to undermine his government.

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