Turkey parliament approves new anti-terror law

The new law strengthens the authorities’ powers in detaining suspects and imposing public order.

People attend a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the attempted coup at the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul
Emergency rule was declared in Turkey in July 2016 after a coup attempt claimed 251 lives and left nearly 2,200 people injured [Reuters]

Turkey‘s parliament has ratified a tough anti-terrorism bill proposed by the ruling party, six days after the two-year-long state of emergency ended.

The new anti-terror law, which was passed on Wednesday, strengthens the authorities’ powers in detaining suspects and imposing public order.

The new legislation allows authorities to control who can enter and exit an area for 15 days for reasons of security, while suspects can be held without charge for 48 hours or up to four days if there are multiple offences.

The measure drafted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s Justice and Development Party (AKP) retains aspects of emergency rule and will be valid for three years.

It also authorizes the government to dismiss personnel of Turkish Armed Forces, police and gendarmerie departments, public servants and workers if they are found linked to a terror organization.

Governors of the country’s 81 provinces retain some emergency powers including restricting freedom of assembly.

The opposition had criticized the draft legislation as a ploy to make “emergency rule permanent”.

The government declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016, following a coup by a section of the military to topple the government and unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The coup attempt left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.

The state of emergency ended after the government allowed it to lapse on July 19.

Source: News Agencies