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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's parliament has amended an internal armed forces' regulation long relied on by the country's once-powerful generals as grounds for intervening in politics, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported Saturday, in a move that further strips the military of its political influence.
The military has wielded huge political power in the country, overthrowing four governments between 1960 and 1997 and issuing a warning against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government as recently as 2007.
Erdogan's party proposed the amendment to strip the military of any legal basis for intervention in domestic affairs following a spate of anti-government protests in June, which the prime minister has blamed on a conspiracy against his democratically-elected government. The protesters were airing discontent with what opponents have said is Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian style of governing and moves to impose his conservative and religious views on society.
The vote also comes at a time when Turkey has spoken out against the Egyptian military's overthrow of the country's Islamist leader, Mohammed Morsi, with whom Erdogan had formed an alliance.