Turkey’s governing party narrowly missed being banned in a court ruling on Wednesday that released months of pressure in the country and handed a victory to the party’s leader, a former Islamist.
The party, Justice and Development, or AKP, as it is know in Turkish, was kept alive by just one vote — six members of Turkey’s Constitutional Court voted to close it, but seven were required. A ban would have brought down the government, forcing national elections for the second time in a year and pitching the country into chaos.
While this certainly is good news, it is still worrying. There were five members of the court were willing to ban the government. As on analyst put it, “This is a political equivalent of having a gun pointed to your head, but the gunman pulls back at the last second and only shoots you in the foot.” However, on the balance, this is really good news.