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Turkish Parliament passes bill getting rid of special courts

Feb. 22, 2014 at 4:01 PM
ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The Turkish Parliament has passed a bill abolishing specially authorized courts put in place by anti-terror laws, officials said.

The bill was approved after a 14-hour parliamentary session, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Friday.

As a result of the bill, specially authorized courts that convicted hundreds of Turkish soldiers in mass trials in 2012 and 2013 for allegedly plotting coups will be shut down and those cases will be handed over to regular criminal courts.

Turkey's specially authorized courts were created by an anti-terror law. They were discontinued in 2012 by Parliament, but a provisional article in the anti-terror law allowed courts to finalize pending coup plot cases before they closed.

Lawmakers opposed to the bill labeled it a "cache for hiding the government's dirty laundry."

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