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    Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addresses local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

    Erdogan Accuses Turkey's Constitutional Court of Breaching Constitution

    © AP Photo / Presidential Press Service/Kayhan Ozer
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the country's Constitutional Court on Friday of violating the Constitution by releasing two journalists from pre-trial detention who had been arrested for investigating the delivery of weapons from Ankara to militants in Syria.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Last week, the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that the detention of journalists Can Dundar and Erdem Gul from the Cumhuriyet newspaper was a violation of their rights. Erdogan refused to respect the court’s decision, accusing the journalists of espionage.

    "Not I, but the Constitutional Court violated the Constitution. It set itself as the highest court and this is the wrong step for our justice," Erdogan told reporters, as quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey February 17, 2016, in this handout photo provided by the Presidential Palace
    © REUTERS / Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace
    The Turkish leader added that the journalists were trying to falsely blame Ankara for supporting terrorist groups operating in Syria.

    In November 2015, Dundar and Gul, respectively the editor and Ankara bureau chief of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, were arrested after Erdogan and the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) made accusations against them for having brought to light MIT's involvement in arms deliveries to Syria.

    Dundar and Gul's trial is scheduled to begin on March 25. They each face aggravated life sentence, an additional life sentence, as well as 30 years in prison for revealing state secrets.

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