Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speaks after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for counter-terrorism cooperation at the Istana in Singapore January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su (
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he was ready to withdraw a contentious bill aimed at curbing the powers of the judiciary as he battled to contain the worst crisis of his 11 years in office.The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) branded the police raid – part of a wider operation against Al-Qaeda – a "smear campaign" linked to a high-level corruption probe embroiling the Islamic-rooted government.Erdogan offered a compromise in the row over the judiciary, saying the government was ready to withdraw proposed legislation curbing judges' powers – on certain conditions.Erdogan is believed to be seeking the presidency if the constitution is changed to give the post U.S.-style executive powers.He also accused the Gulen movement of deliberately trying to undermine the Turkish secret service, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).His comments appeared to be linked to the raid against the IHH, which claims it has become victim to the feud between Erdogan and the so-called Gulenists.
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