Turkish parliament recesses without passing reform bill or adultery ban

The Turkish Parliament (official site in Turkish) automatically recessed Saturday as it reached the end of its session. The Parliament will not reopen until October 1, barring an emergency. The Parliament was still considering a bill to reform the Turkish penal code and bring it more in line with the rest of Europe. The passage of the reform bill was considered key to the favorable recommendation of the European Commission report on Turkey's inclusion in the EU, due out October 6.

The Parliament has many housekeeping items to take care of when it reopens its doors on October 1 and will probably not have enough time to finish consideration of the reform bill before the Commission's report is published. The bill was on course to be finished by Friday, but the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) (background here) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (official site in Turkish) unexpectedly blocked its completion. Many suspect that the controversy over the inclusion and later withdrawal of a proposed criminal ban on adultery spurred Erdogan to block the legislation's passage. EU officials have warned that the adultery bill's passage significantly affects the chances of Turkey's inclusion into the EU, but Erdogan has responded by telling EU officials to keep out of internal Turkish affairs. JURIST's Paper Chase has background. Al Jazeera has more.

 

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