It is being widely reported that an advisor to Turkey’s Constitutional Court has recommended that the governing AK Party should not be shut down.
Members of the 11-judge panel have apparently been handed a non-binding report that suggests the AK is not trying to establish Sharia law in the predominantly Muslim, but officially secular, country.
The AK has roots in political Islam, but party officials have always denied having a hidden Islamic agenda.
If the AK is closed down, several party members including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could lose their seats and be barred from politics for five years.
Experts say the consequences for Turkey’s political stability, and its bid for EU membership, would be significant.
The court has closed down several political parties in the past. A decision is expected next month.