In a defiant challenge to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the head of the Constitutional Court has complained of government interference.
Erdogan reluctantly complied with a high court ruling to unblock Twitter earlier this month. However, he said that he did not respect the ruling and described it as being against national interests.
Chief Justice Hasim Kilic said that this and similar disagreements have traumatised and divided the judiciary.
“The judiciary is not and should not be a place for setting a trap for the people’s will. The judiciary has recently been described as a ‘parallel state’ and a ‘gang’,” said Kılıc.
Hours later, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag came to Erdogan’s defence, saying that Constitutional Court rulings are not beyond reproach and accusing the top judge of acting as an “opposition party”.
“To make political statements, to enter political polemics is not among his duties,” Bozdag said.