Broad opposition support for courts' removal
ANKARA â€“ President Abdullah Gul has ratified the abolition of 'special-authority' courts established under Turkeyâ€™s anti-terror legislation.
The courts, which were formally axed two years ago but continued to exist due to a legal technicality, had faced criticism over their handling of high-profile investigations into the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) conspiracies.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the bill in early January to broad support from opposition parties, particularly the Republican Peopleâ€™s Party and the Peace and Democracy Party.
The government first raised the idea of abolishing the courts after a prosecutor called the head of the National Intelligence Organization, Hakan Fidan, in February 2012 to testify about secret talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workersâ€™ Party (PKK).
In July that year, the Turkish parliament passed a bill that repealed the courts but due to a temporary article attached to the bill, the courts continued operating until they finished the cases at hand.
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