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Turkey caught between the EU and the army.

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Turkey caught between the EU and the army.

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The Turkish President has signed a law that transfers powers from military to civilian courts.

In doing so Abdullah Gul says he is satisfying the requirements of the European Union, which Turkey hopes to join. But he is also risking the wrath of the army, which has traditionally been the guardian of the country’s secular constitution. Turkish newspapers have quoted military officials as saying the new law is unconstitutional. The main opposition party will reportedly appeal to Turkey’s Constitutional Court to block it. The law, passed by parliament last month, will allow civilian courts to try military personnel in peace time and bans military courts from prosecuting civilians. The EU had been encouraging the measure as it debates Turkish membership.