Four anti-terror articles passed in parliament amid brawl

Four anti-terror articles passed in parliament amid brawl

ANKARA
Four anti-terror articles passed in parliament amid brawl

The Turkish Parliament approved four articles of a contentious anti-terror bill on July 23, leading ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers to engage in a brawl over HDP lawmaker Ahmet Şık’s speech in the general assembly.

The lawmakers began deliberations on the legislative bill, which introduces new measures as a precautionary bid in the fight against terror after the state of emergency rule was lifted on Monday.

Overnight, the parliament approved four articles of a 24-article bill in a heated debate between opposition and ruling party lawmakers over the content of the bill, which was objected by the opposition on the ground that it would limit basic freedoms and rights with undemocratic measures.

The four approved articles grant authority to governors to limit the entry and exit of individuals to certain areas in the city and to ban assembly in the city, allow military officials to conduct searches within military areas, lift martial law, and include “friendly settlement” and “unilateral declaration” as a ground for retrial in cases that have been appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

During the speeches over the bill, Şık’s speech has stirred a debate between ruling and opposition lawmakers, leading him to be excluded from two consecutive sessions on the ground of “insulting lawmakers.”

Şık fiercely criticized the bill stating the articles amount to the continuation of state of emergency rule, accusing the ruling party of pursuing its interests by abusing democratic powers, in a bid to “root and institutionalize its oppressive regime.”

After Şık accused the ruling party officials of being “immoral,” AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Mustafa Elitaş interrupted him and as a fine, banned him from entering two sessions.

Following the speech, AKP lawmakers approached Şık leading to a brief brawl between AKP and HDP lawmakers.

Turkish parliament, anti-terror law, AKP, HDP