Parliament yesterday discussed amendments to fight against terrorism, as the state of emergency will not be extended for a new term tomorrow, and submitted them to the parliamentary speaker's office.
Amendments were offered in the parliamentary session, which regulates terrorism laws, to not interrupt Turkey's fight against terrorism after the end of the state of emergency. New laws envisage governors and security forces continuing to use some of the authority they had during the state of emergency. According to reports last week, the package saw partial implementation of the state of emergency in case of major terrorist attacks to authorize the judiciary to collect evidence, detain suspects and impose a media blackout if necessary. A partial state of emergency will also be implemented in natural disasters to expedite intervention by emergency services.
The Article 26 proposal of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been presented to all political parties. AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan told reporters yesterday in a press conference that the state of emergency will be lifted on July 18 and the fight against terrorism will continue resolutely. "Steps to be taken will be in line with universal and constitutional law," Turan said. He highlighted that the regulations will be valid for a limited period of time. If the proposal becomes law it will be in effect for three years. Turan added that the regulations will bring more democratic rights such as an extension of the time period of protests and he also stressed that detention periods will be regulated to be more reasonable as well. The new regulations will give additional authority to governors, enabling them to restrict the exit and entrance to and from any region where there is a terror threat; yet the period for this will be limited to 15 days.
Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20, 2016, following a deadly coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which killed 250 people and wounded 2,200. The main objective of the state of emergency was to fight any terror threat directed toward Turkey and to maintain internal stability. Turkey has been fighting various terror groups, including FETÖ, the PKK and Daesh.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said yesterday that the state of emergency will be lifted in a few days, but the struggle against terrorism will continue,
Speaking at the International Struggle Against Coups and 15 July Symposium, Gül said that despite the state of emergency ending, "the most persistent and most determined fight" against all kinds of terrorism, especially FETÖ, will continue till the end. Gül thanked all those who are making efforts for the cause of democracy in the country.
The symposium was jointly organized by the Turkey Legal Platform, the International Lawyers Union, the Association of Constitutional Lawyers, the Justice Academy of Turkey and Istanbul University.