Turkey replaces state of emergency with controversial anti-terror law

Turkey replaces state of emergency with controversial anti-terror law
2 min read
25 July, 2018
Observers and rights groups say a new 'anti-terror' law passed on Wednesday maintains the harshest aspects of the recently cancelled emergency law.
Erdogan at an AK election rally in Istanbul [Getty]

Turkey's parliament approved a new "anti-terror" law on Wednesday that strengthens police powers after a two-year state of emergency ended last week. 

The new legislation allows authorities to control who can enter and exit an area for 15 days for reasons of security.

Suspects can also be held without charge for 48 hours or up to four days if there are multiple offences. This period can be extended on two occasions under special circumstances.

Authorities will also retain for three more years the power to sack civil servants deemed linked to "terror" groups, retaining a key power of the state of emergency.

Protests and gatherings will be banned in open public areas after sunset, although they can be authorised until midnight if they do not disturb the public order.

The state of emergency, imposed in the wake of the July 2016 failed coup aimed at unseating recently re-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had been extended seven times and seen tens of thousands arrested.

While Turkey's post-coup crackdown has focused on suspected Gulenists, who Ankara says was behind the coup attempt, the government also used the opportunity to suppress opposition from Kurdish activists and other dissidents.

Erdogan was sworn in for his second term as head of state earlier this month under a new executive presidency, which dispenses with the office of prime minister. The new system was agreed in a bitterly fought 2017 referendum narrowly won by the "Yes" camp, and the issue is still polarising in Turkey.

Critics and rights groups have warned that an executive presidency will lead to one-man rule in Turkey. 

Erdogan is under new rules now able to form and regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval. 

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