Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, at the end of their joint press announcement at the state guesthouse in Tokyo Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura, Pool)
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Europe voiced its concern Wednesday about the independence of the judiciary in crisis-wracked Turkey as the government embarked on a new purge of the police and moved to curb the powers of the country's top legal body.Justice Minister Beckir Bozdag also said the government would block an HSYK investigation into alleged political pressure on police and prosecutors involved in the widening investigation that has targeted several key Erdogan allies.The crisis has raised questions about the political survival of the prime minister, arguably one of the most powerful figures in modern Turkey who took office in 2002 after years of government instability and an economic meltdown.The European Union – which predominantly Muslim Turkey has long aspired to join – weighed into the crisis Wednesday.Erdogan was forced into a major Cabinet reshuffle last month and the government has since gone on the offensive to root out foes in the police and judiciary.
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