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Turkish government says it will not withdraw controversial judicial bill

Turkey's government says it has no plans to withdraw legislation that would tighten Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on the judiciary.

Erdogan's government has proposed the bill, which would strengthen the Justice Ministry's hold on a council that appoints judges and prosecutors, as it fights a corruption scandal that implicated Cabinet ministers.

Erdogan claims the corruption charges are a conspiracy orchestrated by followers of an Islamic movement which he says has infiltrated the police and judiciary.

The opposition says the bill would limit the independence of the judiciary and is unconstitutional. A brawl broke out over the measure as it was debated in a parliamentary committee over the weekend.

Government spokesman Bulent Arinc said Monday it has no intention to withdraw the legislation.

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