Turkish government set for new 'anti-terror' law after emergency

Turkey’s ruling party submitted to parliament another "anti-terror" charge that shows that the state of emergency will be de facto in effect although the government propagates to end it by July 18
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 22:20

A new "anti-terror" bill will bolster the powers of Turkish authorities in detaining suspects and imposing public order even after the current two-year state of emergency ends.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) submitted an amendment to existing laws to parliament on July 16 to deal with the "fight against terror after the state of emergency" is nominally lifted. 

A provisional article will be added to the anti-terror law. Detention times for offences committed against state integrity, organized crime, and terrorist crimes will be implemented differently in the upcoming three years.

Under the proposed new legislation, authorities will be able to prohibit individuals from exiting and entering a defined area for 15 days on security grounds. Governors will be able to prohibit individuals on "security" grounds where the "public order or safety has deteriorated" or "there are serious indications that will deteriorate in such a way that will stop or divert daily life."

It says a suspect can be held without charge for 48 hours or up to four days in the case of multiple offences. But this period can be extended up to twice if there is "difficulty in collecting evidence" or if the case is "deemed to be particularly voluminous."

The head of the AKP’s parliamentary group Bülent Turan said that the 28-article bill had been sent to opposition parties and expressed hope that it would be put to a vote next week.

The AKP government will continue to appoint trustees for terrorism-related institutions and companies. Gun licenses and passports of those dismissed or suspended from public duties will be cancelled. The Interior Ministry will be able to cancel the passports of their spouses as well.

The state of emergency, imposed in the wake of the July 2016 failed coup aimed at unseating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been extended seven times. The state of emergency is not marked by the purge in the army or the jurisdiction, but it was marked by the opportunities offered to the bourgeoisie.

Erdoğan had argued that the government disappointed those who wished to demolish the democracy as well as the economy of Turkey. 

"Our state of emergency is totally against terrorism. Also, it prevents workers from going out on strike. Before our government, factories were suffering from workers' strikes," he had said. "Is there any strike at any factory under the state of emergency declared by our government? Quite the contrary. When workers attempt to go on such a strike, we suppress them by taking advantage of the state of emergency. Briefly, the state of emergency has strengthened the fight against terrorism," Erdoğan had added.