Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the Constitutional Court must explain its decision to overturn a government-led reform allowing students to wear Muslim headscarves at university.
Last week's Constitutional Court ruling was the most serious setback for the AK Party since it came to power in 2002 and analysts said it increased the chances of the party being banned for anti-secular activities, in a separate case.
Erdogan said that the legislative authority was granted to the parliament.
Erdogan said that the legislative power was given to the parliament, on behalf of the Turkish nation, under Article 7 of the Constitution.
"This authority cannot be transferred to any one, and use of sovereignty cannot be left in the hands of a certain person, class or group," Erdogan told the members of his ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party in a parliament meeting.
Erdogan said that the duty of the parliament was to make, amend and abolish laws, and told the AK Party members that nobody could take away this authority from the parliament.
"No one can consider himself as legislator. Also, our parliament cannot hand over its legislative power in line with the Constitution," the Turkish prime minister said.
Erdogan said that the decision of the Constitutional Court was under discussion because of this provision of the Constitution.
The top court cancelled the constitutional amendment lifting the headscarf ban at universities by 9 votes against 2 on June 5th.
Article 7 on "Legislative Power" says "legislative power is vested in the Turkish Grand National Assembly on behalf of the Turkish Nation. This power cannot be delegated."
"Why such a ruling is announced without putting its reasons?" Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked when addressing a party group meeting in the parliament.
"Why is that hurry?" he said.
Erdogan also accused main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) of "exerting consistent efforts to start a clash of authority between the legilative and judiciary powers."
"The reason of the current situation we are in is CHP and its opposition mentality. No one, but no one, has the right to make the judiciary a party to such a controversy," he said.
He said legislative, judiciary and executive powers have their own authorities and responsibilities, adding that, "no one can be above the constitution and no one can assume any powers larger than others."
Erdogan said that protecting the regime in democracies was possible only by sticking to laws and constitution, stating that only the elected parliaments can make use of the legislative authority.
"No one can take away this authority, which is given by the Constitution, from our parliament. No one can consider himself as legislator. Similarly, our parliament cannot hand over its legislative power," Erdogan said.
"We have to take Turkey out of such an environment of 'clash of powers'," he concluded.
Erdogan warned against the possible consequences of ignoring the ruling of the Constitution.
"If we ignore main characteristics of the Republic; if we ignore some articles of the Constitution; and if we fail to protect institutions and rules, then our people and country suffer the most," Erdogan told a gathering of his Justice & Development (AK) Party at the parliament.
Erdogan said that his party and government would continue to behave in a responsible manner and with common sense to protect the interests of the nation.
Prime minister said that no one should forget the fact that both legislation and judiciary act for the sake of the people.
"We cannot consent to attempts aimed to harm legislation and/or judiciary. It is our common responsibility to further strengthen both of them," he also said.
Erdogan once more reaffirmed that his government's goal was to carry Turkey above the level of contemporary civilization and expressed his willingness to serve the nation without ignoring democracy, justice and individual rights.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Haziran 2008, 16:48
'Legislative authority granted to Parliament, not court': PM
Turkish PM Erdogan said the Constitutional Court must explain its decision to overturn a reform allowing students to wear Muslim headscarves at university.