Turkey to work on rule to strip terrorism supporters of citizenship, says minister
AA photoTurkey will work on a new rule to strip citizenship from Turks found to be supporting terrorism, the justice minister said on April 6, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he wanted such a measure.
Erdoğan first floated the idea on April 5 in a speech to lawyers. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu hours later said there were no such plans underway, but Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on April 6 contradicted him.
“Erdoğan envisages a new rule [for stripping citizenship],” Bozdağ told reporters.
“Of course we will begin work on this.”
Erdoğan did not specify who he was targeting with the comments. In the past he said that those Turkey accuses of supporting terrorism - whether they are journalists or aid workers - are no different from terrorists themselves.
Turkey faces unprecedented security troubles in a renewed battle against the outlawed Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK). Two suicide bombings blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in recent months killed dozens.
Rights advocates fear that anti-terrorism laws, already used to detain academics and opposition jouralists, will now be used in courts to further stifle discussion of issues such as the Kurdish conflict.
The PKK abandoned a two-year ceasefire in July, reigniting a conflict that has claimed more than 40,000 lives since 1984. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Davutoğlu had said late on April 5 that there was no work was underway on any rule to strip citizenship.
“At the moment we don’t have any advanced work on this nor is this a topic being debated,” Davutoğlu told reporters before leaving for an official visit to Finland.