Türkiye’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is set to submit a bill to the Parliament Speaker’s Office proposing changes to the bankruptcy and enforcement laws and other legislative articles, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The changes aim to postpone the enforcement of prison sentences for convicted mothers whose children contract a fatal disease like cancer, as well as mandate mediation in rent disputes, and introduce severer punishments for drug trafficking and migrant smuggling.
The bill will ensure that even if a female convict has begun serving her sentence and has a child under the age of 8 who needs care due to a disability or a serious illness, she will have the right to have a Chief Public Prosecutor's Office postpone the enforcement of her sentence for up to a year. However, this only applies to prison sentences of up to a total of 10 years.
According to the bill, the postponement period can be extended at most four times without going over six months each time and the statute of limitations will not be active during the extensions.
The changes also include raising the minimum prison sentence for the manufacturing and trading of amphetamine, synthetic cathinone, synthetic opioid and their variations from 10 to 15 years.
The bill further mandates that prisoners convicted of drug abuse and prisoners convicted of other crimes and later revealed as being drug addicts will participate in treatment and rehabilitation programs at the correction facility.
To that end, the bill enables correction facilities to open individual institutions or facilitate a department for such programs.
Moreover, a covert official investigating drug manufacturing or trafficking will be permitted by a judge to record footage or audio in public spaces and workplaces.
When a report confirms a seized sample as a narcotic substance, a criminal court of peace will be obligated to rule on the confiscation and extermination of the substance, thus enabling narcotic substances to be eradicated without having to wait for the investigation or prosecution to conclude.
In order to ensure a more effective fight against and deterrence of migrant smuggling, the bill ups the minimum prison term for the crime from three to five years.
In cases of foreigners under a court order to “not leave the country,” relevant governorates will be awarded the right to ask the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to remove the court decision and obtain a judge order to ensure the deportation of foreigners deemed dangerous for domestic security.
Lastly, the bill seeks to settle disputes between landlords and tenants, and disagreements over the elimination of joint ownership, commonholds and vicinity rights by making mediation a condition of litigation.
The mediator, too, will be obligated to inform the original litigants about the last trial proceedings drafted during and after the mediation period.
It also grants the right of civil service employment for the relatives of correction facility directors, protection and execution officers considered service-disabled.
Should the Parliament Speaker’s Office approve, the bill will head to the Parliament floor for final voting.