Turkey's constitutional court yesterday decided to hear the case to ban the Turkish ruling party, the AKP, filed by the Turkish Prosecutor-General. Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (1 April) in Berlin:
"I was concerned to learn that the Turkish constitutional court has decided to hear the petition to ban the AKP.
According to the principles of the Council of Europe's Venice Commission of which Turkey is a member, a party can only be banned if it advocates the use of violence or wants to use violence to overthrow the constitutional order.
Therefore I am convinced the petition will ultimately be rejected.
In the current situation, it is important that Turkey's political leadership remains on its path to reform and maintains its determination to move its country closer to the European Union."