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Turkish Parliament Gives Government More Control Over Judiciary

Turkey's parliament has passed a bill giving the government more control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors.

Parliament on February 14 resumed debate of the bill despite criticism from opposition parties and the international community when it was initially tabled last month.

As the bill was debated overnight, fighting erupted between ruling party and opposition lawmakers.

At least one lawmaker was injured.

The battle for control of the Higher Council of Judges and Prosecutors, the body which appoints senior members of the judiciary, is at the center of a dispute between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen, who has a considerable following among Turkish elites, has built up influence in the police and judiciary over the years.

Erdogan blames Gulen for unleashing a corruption investigation he sees as designed to topple him.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP