Turkey to enforce new anti terror laws, giving new powers to law enforcing authorities

Turkey to enforce new anti terror laws, giving new powers to law enforcing authorities

ISTANBUL - Turkey s ruling party on Monday submitted to parliament a new "anti-terror" bill that would bolster the powers of the authorities in detaining suspects and imposing public order even after the current two-year state of emergency ends.

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

With the government indicating that no new extension will be sought after Erdogan won a new mandate in June 24 presidential elections, the emergency is due to end overnight Wednesday to Thursday.

But state-run Anadolu news agency said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had submitted amendments to existing laws to parliament to deal with the "fight against terror after the state of emergency".

Turkey considers itself to be simultaneously fighting several groups deemed by Ankara to be terror outfits, including Islamic State (IS) militants, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen blamed for the 2016 putsch bid.

Under the proposed new legislation, authorities will be able to prohibit individuals exiting and entering a defined area for 15 days on security grounds, Anadolu said.

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 Bulent 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 fell short of a majority in the 600-seat parliament in the polls but is able to push through legislation with the support of its hard right allies, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

"The state of emergency is going to end in the next days. But the end of the state of emergency does not mean our fight against terror is going to come to an end," said Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul. - APP/AFP