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POLITICS > Charter panel agrees on article on privacy of life

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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The panel met with President Gül last week and informed him about theprocess. AA photo

The panel met with President Gül last week and informed him about theprocess. AA photo

Göksel Bozkurt Göksel Bozkurt goksel.bozkurt@hurriyet.com.tr

Parliament’s charter panel has agreed on the article “Protection and Privacy of Personal Life,” although opposition members objected to the exceptions of “national security, public order and public morals” to protection of privacy. The panel agreed to write a detailed preamble for the article in order to remove ambiguity.

The Constitution Conciliation Commission completed the article “Protection and Privacy of Personal Life” within the section on fundamental rights and freedoms. Under the article, everyone has the right to demand respect for his or her private and family life.

Neither the person nor the belongings of an individual shall be searched unless there is a decision duly given by a judge on one or several of the grounds of national security, public order, prevention of crime commitment, protection of public health and public morals and/or protection of the rights and freedoms of others, according to the article. In case of prejudicial delay, a written order by an agency authorized by law shall be adequate for such searches.

However, members from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) objected to the exceptions to privacy of personal life on the grounds of “national security, public order and public morals.”

CHP’s Rıza Türmen reportedly said the article should be written down in detail, indicating that rules based on discretion could be interpreted differently in Turkey. “Some authorities in Turkey have eavesdropped on people without a court ruling because of ambiguous provisions. This article should be written down explicitly for this reason,” Türmen was quoted as saying. However, members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) did not agree with Türmen.

BDP’s Altan Tan said the notion of “public morals” varies in different parts of the country. “Public morals in İzmir and in Gümüşhane are not the same. We have to explicate the issue in the preamble of the article,” sources quoted Tan as saying.The panel also agreed on the article “Prohibition of Forced Labor.”

June/14/2012

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